The Revolution schedule dropped nearly two months ago, yet now, less than a week from First Kick 2017, the matchups finally feel tangible.
As you anticipate another MLS season, consider road-tripping to one of these five Revolution away matches:
Saturday, May 6 vs. Columbus Crew SC
Venue: Mapre Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
Distance from Foxboro: 755 miles, 11.5 hours
In 2016, just a year removed from a trip to the MLS Cup Final, Crew SC seemed destined for another deep postseason run. Things didn’t quite turn out that way, as the club finished eighth in the Eastern Conference and missed the playoffs.
Columbus will host the Revs in early May, reuniting with forward Kei Kamara, who’s spat with Federico Higuain embodied the team’s 2016 demise. Kamara came up blank in his return to Mapfre Stadium last fall, as the Revs lost, 2-0.
To defeat Kamara’s old club, the Revs must find a way through new center back Jonathan Mensah—a maintsay for the Ghana National Team during the last World Cup cycle—and an improving Crew back line.
Saturday, May 27 vs. New York Red Bulls
Venue: Red Bull Arena, Harrison, N.J.
Distance from Foxboro: 213 miles, 3.75 hours
After enduring a contentious preseason that ended in the departure of star midfielder Dax McCarty and Sporting Director Ali Curtis, the Red Bulls will have a much different look in 2017. Head Coach Jesse Marsch will deploy a 4-2-2-2 formation with Sean Davis, a RBNY academy product, replacing McCarty in the Starting XI.
This new look shouldn’t change the intensity of the match, as the clubs share a rivalry that transcends individual players and coaches. When the action kicks off, the Revs will look to avenge a 1-0 loss from last August, when an early goal from Bradley Wright-Phillips gave RBNY a 1-0 win at Red Bull Arena.
Sunday, July 2 vs. Philadelphia Union
Venue: Talen Energy Stadium, Chester, Pa.
Distance from Foxboro: 326 miles, 5.25 hours
The Revolution have historically struggled in Chester, and last year proved no different, as the club endured an embarrassing 3-0 loss in late March. This year, reversing the trend may prove difficult. The Union have added important pieces, including Bosnian midfielder Haris Medunjanin, to a roster that ran through MLS during the first half of 2016.
To pick up three points in Philly, the Revs will need to slow Medunjanin, C.J. Sapong and, just maybe, ex-Revolution forward Charlie Davies.
Sunday, August 20 vs. NYCFC
Venue: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York City, N.Y.
Distance from Foxboro: 193 miles, 3.25 hours
The addition of Head Coach Patrick Viera worked wonders for upstart NYCFC, who finished second in the Eastern Conference last season. In year two, Viera committed to upgrading a roster that lost three players to retirement. Newcomers include veteran keeper Sean Johnson, Argentine defender Maxi Moralez and former Revolution attacker Sean Okoli.
For the Revs, defeating NYCFC—arguably the top team in the Eastern Conference—could serve as a season-defining win.
Saturday, August 26 vs. D.C. United
Venue: RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.
Distance from Foxboro: 436 miles, 7 hours
If you’d like to visit RFK Stadium one last time, mark your calendar for August 26, when the Revs will make its final visit to the historic venue.
This offseason, the Black and Red added journeyman Sebastian Le Toux and homegrown midfielder Ian Harkes (son of former USMNT and Revolution midfielder John Harkes), among others, to a roster that finished 4th in the Eastern Conference last season. These additions solidify a team that will compete for the conference crown in 2017.
Of course, the Revs will also need to contend with Patrick Mullins, whom the team picked in the first round of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. Mullins has scored 14 MLS goals since leaving the Revs in the 2014 Expansion Draft.