More than 120 days have passed since the Revolution’s last regular-season contest. That’s too many days. The good news? Next weekend, the Revs will kick off the 2018 season against the Union in Chester, Pa. That’s a match worth seeing.
Here are four more matches to complete your road trip:
Saturday, March 3 vs. Philadelphia Union
Venue: Talen Engery Stadium, Chester, Pa.
Distance from Foxboro: 311 miles, 5 hours
The Revs and Union have made an annual habit of meeting in March. And the Revs have made an annual habit of starting the season slow. But it’s a new year, and the navy and red will start anew with first-year coach Brad Friedel at the helm. Can the former U.S. keeper steer his club to an opening weekend win? It’s worth the trip to find out.
Saturday, July 21 vs. New York Red Bulls
Venue: Red Bull Arena, Harrison, N.J.
Distance: 210 miles, 3.5 hours
The Revs and Red Bulls combined for just 95 points last season, the worst combined total for the two MLS Originals since 2012. But in 2018, both clubs should compete at a higher level. The Red Bulls added playmaker Alejandro Romero Gamarra to fill the void left by Sacha Kljestan and will benefit from the continued development of Aaron Long and Tyler Adams. The Revs added Swedish defender Gabriel Somi (and three defensive SuperDraft picks) to bolster their back line. First-year attacker Cristian Penilla has looked remarkably comfortable in limited preseason action.
What do all these changes mean for the rivalry in 2018? The Red Bulls project to finish higher in the standings, but the Revs never back down from a fight in New Jersey. This one won’t disappoint.
Sunday, August 19 vs. D.C. United
Venue: Audi Field, Washington, D.C.
Distance from Foxboro: 427 miles, 7 hours
Not much went well for D.C. United in 2017. The club finished last in the Eastern Conference while scoring just 31 goals, tied for the league low. The Black-and-Red added a few promising pieces—including former Atlanta winger Yamil Asad—in hopes of bouncing back, though no acquisition has overshadowed the anticipated opening of Audi Field. The club will reveal its new digs on July 14.
If you can put your jealously aside, the stadium promises to live up to the hype. Besides, the Revs need a clean slate after losing their final six matches at RFK Stadium, D.C.’s former home.
Saturday, September 29 vs. Toronto FC
Venue: BMO Field, Toronto, Canada
Distance from Foxboro: 546 miles, 8.5 hours
The defending champs will open 2018 as the favorites to claim a second consecutive title. Toronto FC boasts one of the deepest rosters in MLS, and—over the past two months—has only bolstered that depth. So why watch the Revs take on the Reds in a match that will heavily favor the home side?
In spite of Toronto’s dominance, the Revs have actually held their own against their northern neighbors. The team hasn’t lost to Greg Vanney’s side at Gillette Stadium since 2014. Now, the Revs must translate that success into a result in the Queen City. It’s a risky match to attend, but the risk just might pay off.
Saturday, October 6 vs. Atlanta United
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Ga.
Distance from Foxboro: 1,066 miles, 16.5 hours
The Revolution have collected more red cards than goals in two all-time meetings against Atlanta United. That’s not a great incentive to take a 16-hour drive to watch the Revs take on an Atlanta team that, after adding skillful attackers Ezequiel Barco and Darlington Nagbe, look poised to compete for an MLS Cup crown.
But if you make the trip, you might catch an upset. The Revs have historically played their best soccer in the fall. Last year, the club outplayed The Five Stripes during a 0-0 draw at the end of September (albeit at home), and went on to go undefeated in its final three matches.
And if you don’t catch an upset, Atlanta is supposed to be picture perfect in October.