The debate of rest versus rust will live on for eternity in sports but the New England Revolution appear to have chosen a side.
When the Revs face the Chicago Fire at home on Saturday evening, it will be the first time they have played a competitive game in over two weeks. With how jam-packed the 2021 MLS season has been, any break seems to be much needed.
Head coach and sporting director Bruce Arena detailed what his side has been up to during the break.
“Well, we gave them I think a total of six days off, might have been even seven,” he said. “So, they’ve had time away to get rested both mentally and physically. But when they came back to work, they worked hard. There was a good balance there between rest and some hard work.”
But playing 90 minutes of fierce MLS competition is hard to replicate in a practice setting. Especially with a team that has struggled with injuries among some important players this season. So while Arena did his best to find the perfect balence, it will be interesting to see how the Revs start their match on Saturday.
Along with Arena, DeJuan Jones and Tommy McNamara met with the media and the duo talked about how they thought the break was valuable for the club.
“It’s been good,” said Jones. “Right when the break started, we were able to get some days off. Guys were able to see their families and just get some nice time off. And then we got right back into it. So, I think guys are ready, guys are fresh, and we’re going to have a lot of energy coming out on Saturday.”
With the Revolution struggling to get off to good starts at times this season, that is exactly what fans want to hear. Especially seeing that New England is in the middle of a Supporters Shield race.
But the Revs are also expected to compete for an MLS Cup once the regular season ends. McNamara thinks the break will help the team as they look to finish strong and build momentum headed into the playoffs.
“I think as a group it gave us an opportunity to kind of relax for a second, take a breath, get our mid off things, physically rest, get everybody healthy that may have had some minor issues,” he said. “So for our group that’s been really good. Then it’s given us the opportunity to really focus in on how we can improve individually and collectively over a two-week period that you don’t often get across the season. I think it’s been great. It’s been good to get that little kind of break and reset, and to come back into things refreshed, and kind of give it one last go in this last stretch of five games. Then we’ll worry about playoffs after that.”
Revolution fans will see just how the break affected New England at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday.