With the 2016 Major League Schedule being announced yesterday, it gave everyone a change to look at some key games on the slate for this year.
These are just individual observations from the staff and I'm sure we're missing several games (perhaps against the Columbus Crew) in this post. If there's a game, or games, you are excited for feel free to leave it in the comments below.
Jake: April 9th vs. Toronto FC
This is actually one week after the Revolution host the Red Bulls on national TV, but I'm picking this game for two reasons. First, Toronto FC has arguably won the offseason again, and I really want to see the additions they've made, especially on defense with Drew Moor and Steven Beitashour. Second, while TFC start 2016 on another long road trip, this game should give the Revs a pretty decent idea of where they sit in the Eastern Conference. It's a favorable start to the schedule with the three hardest games (DC, RBNY, TFC) all at Gillette and a fast start to the year could do wonders for this team.
Honorable Mention: Any and all games at Yankee Stadium/Red Bull Arena for Connecticut based road trips.
Steve: April 1st vs. New York Red Bulls
It's really disappointing to see this game buried early in the year and on a Friday night on UniMas that will likely lead to poor attendance and bad ratings on local TV. That April Fool's joke aside, it's still the Red Bulls at Gillette which is a huge game no matter when it is on the schedule.
Seth: March 12 vs D.C. United
Sure, the weather might not be great in early March, but fans have to be excited about facing D.C. United in the home opener. Wins are always good, but there's something extra special about beating United, especially in an early season affair. More than that, the Saturday afternoon match will reunite Riders, Rebels, and other die hards. The stands will be rocking as fans welcome the 2016 season with open arms.
Jon: April 27 vs. Portland Timbers
To be the best, you have to test yourself against the best. That is exactly what Jay Heaps' team will have the chance to do when Caleb Porter and the Portland Timbers come to town in April. It will be New England's third game in 11 days, and the likes of Darlington Dagbe and Diego Valeri will stand in the way of three points. While the Timbers aren't a rival by any means, a chance to take down the reigning MLS Cup champions is a can't-miss occasion.
Nick: October 1, 2016 vs. Sporting KC
Back when Sporing KC competed in the Eastern Conference, the Revolution played multiple matches against Peter Vermes club each season. In 2016, the Revolution have just one chance to beat Sporting, a home match (likely with playoff implications) just three weeks from Decision Day. These two teams always feature in a physical, emotional matchâand I want to see how the Revolution back four holds up against one of the most experienced midfields in MLS.