As a usual thing before games, the SBnation MLS community of blogs like to put together some inter-blog questions about each others teams. This week(end) we have Steve Stoehr from our New England Revolution blog The Bent Musket answering a few questions about his Revolution, who are just coming off a big 1-0 win at DC United. First question is below, the rest are after the jump!
You'll be able to find my answers to his questions about the Rapids at The Bent Musket soon.
BW: It's been a while since these two teams have seen each other, what's different if anything about the New England lineup now compared to our last meeting?
tBM: Well, it's a lineup lacking in confidence for the most part. Wednesday notwithstanding, this team has been beaten and bloodied by everybody in the league, constantly turning in poor performances and even when they play well, the bounces don't go their way and they still tend to lose. Also, anyone who thinks the off-pitch turmoil at the club isn't affecting the players is blind. Guys like Shalrie Joseph, Kevin Alston, Matt Reis and plenty others have great relationships with the supporters' groups and they know exactly what's being said and done in and around the Fort lately. Plus, the treatment of Marko Perovic appears to be in line with the way the Revs approach contracts with all players, which can't be good for morale for any of these guys who are looking for new deals soon. Personnel-wise not much has changed, but these guys might as well be different people compared to where they were at earlier this season.
BW: The Revolution finally got themselves three good points against DC United on the same day that the Rapids killed the Red Bulls, do you think that this team is capable of taking the momentum from that win and turning it into anything substantial, even a playoff run?
tBM: No. I think the three points on Wednesday was more a product of DC ruining its own chances rather than New England having the killer instinct to punish a team. If that win manages to instill some belief and confidence in the squad we might see some signs of life, but a playoff berth is well outside the realm of possibility at this point I think. There just isn't enough class from spots one through eleven to get consistently positive results.
BW: Tell us about a player on the Revs that we might not know all that much about but who might make a difference in the game on Saturday.
tBM: If you don't know much about Chris Tierney yet, do your homework. The last two seasons have been dismal affairs where losing has become the norm, but Tierney has managed to carve out a career in the doldrums at Gillette. He's versatile, playing all over the left flank and last season he also lined up on the right, in central midfield and in central defense. More importantly, Tierney is calm on the ball and makes very good decisions. His crosses are dream-like in their accuracy and lethality, his passing is good and he's a leader on the field. Not to mention he's a local boy. His two goals and two assists this year are on-pace for career highs in both categories and he remains one of the few starters on the roster that I believe could play anywhere else in this league.
BW: Which Colorado player do you think that New England will be watching the most on Saturday?
tBM: 4.) I think the most dangerous player for Colorado is Omar Cummings, but Revs fans will be looking out for Jeff Larentowicz, if only because he's an alum. The fans were all huge supporters of Jeffy when he was here and seeing him leave in that ridiculous trade last year was a heartbreaker for many of us. New England has struggled since to find that level of steel and calm in midfield that he can bring when partnered with someone like Shalrie, and I expect he'll be plugging holes and playing the simple possession passes against us on Saturday, just like he used to when he wore Revolution blue. Plus he has a cannon for a foot when given the chance.
BW: Starting XI and score prediction.
tBM: I expect we'll continue to trot out a tired 4-3-3/4-5-1 lineup that will look something like this:
CB: Barnes, Soares
CDM: Phelan, McCarthy
The Revolution haven't won a single away game yet this year and I don't think they'll start now. Colorado should take this 2-0.