When the New England Revolution take the field on Saturday, they could be facing some of the biggest stars in soccer as New York City FC employ the likes of David Villa, Frank Lampard, and Andrea Pirlo. However, the names on the back of the jerseys are meaningless to the Revolution as they will be fully absorbed in their quest for three points.
"We as players are just concerned about doing what it takes to win the game," Chris Tierney told media on Wednesday. "So, we’ll study them like we do every other team, big names or not."
Of the three Designated Players on NYC, only Villa is scheduled to play as Pirlo is still working towards full fitness and Lampard is dealing with a lingering injury
Though they will be missing some players, NYC will certainly be a challenge. After a slow start to the season, NYC has now collected 14 points in their last seven games. A big reason for the team’s success is Villa, who currently has ten goals and three assists. The Revs know they must contain the Spaniard if they want to prevail.
One player ready for the challenge is Andrew Farrell, who has gone toe-to-toe with some of the league’s best. His battles with Thierry Henry were particularly entertaining as Farrell refused to back down, even after the Frenchman pushed him into goalkeeper Matt Reis, resulting in multiple abrasions.
"As an athlete, you just want to challenge yourself against the best and (Villa) is one of the best right now," Farrell said on the Far Post Podcast. "We’re excited to play this weekend and I’m excited to play against David Villa and that team. They’re a good team."
Although NYC debuted in 2015, they have already shown a pertinacity for splashing money. The millions they've spent on players is a sharp contrast to the Revolution’s philosophy, who have a few big-name players but mostly rely on development.
When asked if playing against a high-spending team serves as an extra motivator, Tierney brushed aside the idea.
"Once the game starts, you’re just worried about winning the game and it doesn’t really matter who you’re playing against," Tierney said. "We respect every player in this league."