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Revolution Prepare to Battle Toronto FC's Big Name Players

Toronto has three high profile Designated Players, but that isn't troubling the Revs.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

After amassing four points in their last two games, the New England Revolution are in the midst of fully preparing for Toronto FC's visit to Gillette Stadium on Saturday evening.

Sights are undoubtedly set on climbing back up the standings, but doing that will be no easy task. In particular, with injuries and fatigue notwithstanding, the Revs are keenly aware of the high profile players Toronto boasts.

"In my personal opinion, I think Giovinco is probably the best player in the league right now," Jeremy Hall told The Bent Musket recently before training. "He can create things on his own and I think he's probably kept Toronto where they're at right now through his ability to do things out of nothing. We'll definitely have to keep an eye on him and also Jozy up top and Michael is a workhorse in there."

As Hall noted, Giovinco is in the middle of an MVP-caliber season. Through 19 games he has registered an astonishing 13 goals and 10 assists, while Altidore has been his usual mix of physicality and guile, and Bradley is a tireless distributor and ball-hunter in the center of the park.

However, the Revs are not allowing the profile of Toronto's Designated Players to cloud their approach to the match. Instead, Jay Heaps' men will look to bring the game to Toronto and defend their home field.

"They've got a lot of good players and guys who can change the game, so we just have to be wary of that," Lee Nguyen said. "At the same time we're on our home turf so we have to attack and go after them."

Diego Fagundez, who has significantly upped his defensive game in recent weeks, noted how his team can seize the tide early against Toronto. Rather than sitting back and conceding space for Giovinco, Bradley, and Altidore to work their magic, the Revs plan to jump out on their opponents, lessening time in the defensive third in the process.

"I think it's going to be how hard we defend," Fagundez said. "Our attack comes from our defense, so once we do well defensively we can definitely attack well. We just have to make sure we stop their players and then finish our chances we get."

So as a game plan starts to materialize this week in training, the Revs are cognizant of what threats will be coming to town on Saturday. They're not letting those dangers intimidate their ranks, though. There is an aura of excitement instead, with an eye towards proving themselves against some of MLS' bigger names.

"We're excited because it's always fun to play against those guys," Andrew Farrell told told The Bent Musket recently before training. "They're great, they test you, and make you play at your best ability and see if you can hold onto them. We're excited about the opportunity to play Toronto at home in front of another good crowd "