The main talking point heading into tonight’s match between the New England Revolution and Los Angeles Galaxy is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and rightfully so. Ibrahimovic is arguably the biggest name player to come to the MLS since the Galaxy signed David Beckham in 2007.
With that being said; when the Revs take the pitch tonight at Gillette Stadium, they’ll see a season high attendance, with more than 30,000 fans expected. The Revs average attendance this season is just under 17,000 — coming in at 16,677 — according to Soccer Stadium Digest. Out of those 30,000 plus fans, there’ll be plenty of Revs fans but it’s fair to assume there’ll also be fans from all over New England coming to watch Ibrahimovic. Regardless of why fans are attending the game, the Revs have an amazing opportunity to prove themselves to the MLS and New England.
The opportunity that the Revs have with playing against Ibrahimovic and the Galaxy is that they have a chance to be taken seriously by the league and soccer fans in New England, outside of their already faithful and loyal supporters. Currently, the Revs are 17th in the league in attendance numbers, according to Soccer Stadium Digest. Given the sports market that Boston is and being in 5th place in the Eastern Conference, you’d expect the Revs to have better attendance records.
A strong performance executing Brad Friedel’s game plan against Ibrahimovic and the Galaxy will warrant fans coming back for more games. While the Revs don’t have a big name player from Europe that’ll sell tickets on his own, they can prove to New England that they’re a good team that gets results. They can prove to soccer fans in New England that under Friedel, the Revs are more aesthetically pleasing to watch than in years past.
A win for the Revs and keeping Ibrahimovic from asserting himself in the match will do a lot in growing this club. Catching the 30,000 plus fans in attention with a positive result tonight will prove to be crucial for the Revs working on getting back into the playoffs.
Whether or not fans are at the match to support to the Revs or see Ibrahimovic, the Revs have something to prove.