Hey! There’s a soccer game this week!
The New England Revolution will play just their second MLS match of 2017 after a postponing their home opener against Orlando City last week. The Revs travel to FC Dallas to take on the defending US Open Cup and Supporter’s Shield champions.
This week we chat with Big D Soccer’s Drew Epperley about Dallas’ CONCACAF Champions League run and whether or not a USOC Final rematch is worthy of being a rivalry game. As always, check out their site for my answers to Drew’s questions and hopefully this one doesn’t get postponed.
TBM: FC Dallas winners of the Supporter's Shield and US Open Cup last year, are making quite the run in the CONCACAF Champions League. How did your midweek game go and give us a preview for the second leg in Mexico.
DE: While the start of the game didn't go FCD's way with Pachuca scoring in the first few minutes, the club responded well and found a result. Oscar Pareja praised the club for responding the way that they did on Wednesday night to help give them a fighting chance in Mexico next month.
The 2-1 lead isn't big by any means and FCD will have to be more compact defensively on the road and find ways to limit the space and time on the ball for Pachuca. I would imagine they will play the bunker and counter game as much as they can while they are there. The speed FCD has on the wings in Roland Lamah and Michael Barrios should help that matter out.
One of the big things the club will have to worry about is if they can manage to hold on to this lead, they'll have to avoid the card situation as several players picked up yellow cards in the knockout round so far.
TBM: Kellyn Acosta is good at soccer. There's no question, just gush about your USMNT leftback, I mean midfielder.
DE: Kellyn Acosta is something else. We knew going into this season he was going to be set for a big year but I don't think anyone here in town really expected to see him jump out the way that he has so far this year. Four goals in four games is great for any player but for a young player to have the confidence that he does to take chances and shots the way he does is awesome to watch.
TBM: Any new faces we'll see on the field today for FCD? Or is the bulk of the team returning from last year?
DE: New England fans will see a few new faces from FCD that are different from the last time these two squared off. Lamah is one of them on the left wing as our Fabian Castillo replacement. Hernan Grana has been a massive upgrade at right back too. Then there is Cristian Colman up top alongside Maxi Urruti in the attack. Colman has struggled so far to find his way in MLS but he's hasn't played a full game either. Dallas fans are trying to remain patient with him despite his DP tag.
TBM: I'm not sure I believe there's a revenge factor for the Revs here after last year's USOC finals loss, Kelyn Rowe certain does, but should this be more of a thing?
I love a good rivalry and given how these two sides are original MLS clubs, I wouldn't mind seeing more passion between these clubs on the field. So should it be more of a thing? I think it should given how we here in Dallas tend to get hyped up about teams that have beaten us in previous years in the post season. I would feel this way had New England beaten us last September.
(4-4-2) Sietz; Grana, Zimmerman, Hedges, Figeroua; Barrios, Acosta, Gruezo, Lamah; Colman, Urruti
Same lineup as the first leg semifinal with Pachuca though don’t be surprised if there’s a rotation or two.
OUT: Mauro Diaz (Achillies), Anibal Chala (sports hernia surgery), Ryan Hollingshead (neck); QUESTIONABLE: Victor Ulloa (sports hernia surgery)