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Who is the Revolution’s true rival?

...or do they not have one?

Cristian Casseres Jr (23) of Red Bulls and Scott Caldwell (6... Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

MLS Rivalry Week is upon us and that means very little to New England Revolution fans, who have watched their team get paired with a new opponent every year. This got us thinking about who actually is the Revolution’s biggest rival. Here’s what our staff had to say:

Seth: New York Red Bulls

If I’m being honest, the Revolution don’t have a true rival. Fans once felt deep hatred for the Houston Dynamo because of losses in back-to-back MLS Cup finals. Those feelings have since waned because the two clubs only see each other once per year. The Chicago Fire haven’t been good in years, so there’s not much there and despite the league trying to make the Liberty Rivalry a thing, games against the Philadelphia Union don’t feel like a big event.

If I had to pick a rival, I’d go with the Red Bulls, a fellow MLS original. The teams have faced off many times, including several heated affairs. The close proximity allows supporters to travel, which creates a fun atmosphere. Revs supporters in particular have some good ammunition since New York rebranded in 2006.

Josh: Los Angeles Galaxy

The rivalry between the New England Revolution and the Los Angeles Galaxy is a never ending soccer saga.

Both teams were original members of Major League Soccer and have been constantly dueling since. Over the course of their 43 regular season meetings, the Revolution hold a 14-23-6 record.

Both clubs also have a long history when it pertains to championship action. The first championship meeting between the Revs and the Galaxy came back in 2001 during the 2001 U.S. Open Cup final. Unfortunately the Revs fell short after a 2-1 defeat to the Galaxy.

The Revs and Galaxy would meet in three separate MLS Cup finals. The first MLS Cup final match came in 2001 followed by 2005, and 2014. Unfortunately, the Galaxy hoisted the cup on all three occasions.

The saga would only grow larger in 2019 as the Revolution would hire former Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, who was the coach for the Galaxy during the 2014 MLS Cup final. Arena and the Revs would leave a mark as they beat the Galaxy in LA on what was Arena’s debut as the Revs head coach.

Whether it be the long history of regular season action, 3 defeats is the MLS Cup finals, or the addition of Bruce Arena, the saga between the New England Revolution and Los Angeles Galaxy is a never ending feud.

Sean: New York Red Bulls

Likewise with Seth, I don’t think the Revolution have a deep and true rivalry with anyone. That’s not to say the team doesn’t have any rivalries but there’s no games with the same magnitude as “El Trafico” or the New York derby that the Revolution take part in. Who knows, maybe if MLS continues to market the Liberty Rivalry with the Union, it could potentially happen. To be honest though, I completely forgot that was a thing in last year’s rivalry week.

Although the Red Bulls biggest rivals certainly isn’t the Revolution, I still believe they’re ours. Whether either team is challenging for the Supporters Shield, playoff spot, or now a higher-standing for home-playoff advantage, neither team can afford to drop points against one another. You could say the same for a variety of opponents within the Eastern Conference but the difference is the away fans at these games.

As part of the amenities provided to season-members, you’re allowed to choose an away game and most fans opt for the trip to New Jersey, seeing anywhere from 500 Revolution fans to more than a 1,000. The increased number of away fans at these matches creates a new dynamic because both fans want to create the better atmosphere as well as both teams wanting to use the atmosphere to their own advantage.


There is no reason why this shouldn’t be the main rival for the Revolution. It’s the New York freaking Yankees for crying out loud. Heck, I can go back further and say it’s the British (i.e. Manchester) owned soccer team occupying New York just like they did in 1776. Did New Yorkers kick out the British like the Bostonians did? Absolutely not, and they should be reminded of such things as often as possible those loyalist Tories.

Also they’re right next to my state and the main reason why I get blamed for all the Yankee hats in New England. It’s not my fault Hank.

Does the Revs not truly having a rival matter? Not really, but rivalries are a two-way street. As the league expanded the Revs were largely on the downswing in the league save for the 2014 MLS Cup run. There were probably chances to establish a more potent rivalry with either NY side or Seth’s favorite Liberty Cup with Philly. But it didn’t happen and it’s fine.

As long as Revs fans are enjoying the matches they perceive to be rivalry games and making the long bus trips when they can, that’s all that counts.