Brotherly Game) The New England Revolution are on a short week, having beat the Chicago Fire in the US Open Cup on Tuesday evening. Will the Revs have any gas left in the tank, and what kind of lineup shuffling can we expect from Jay Heaps?
Jake Catanese, The Bent Musket) I think Jay Heaps has done fairly well to balance his lineups during this US Open Cup run and give some players rest, and not playing extra time should help a lot. Lee Nguyen didn't start the match but did play the last half hour, replacing Diego Fagundez in the second half. Gershon Koffie played the majority of the match at holding midfield, as he returns to full fitness following a lengthy injury recovery. Aside from the depth up top, with Davies traded to some random team and Juan Agudelo and Femi Hollinger-Janzen also coming back from their own injuries, Kei Kamara is probably the only person who at some point is going to need a breather. I'd expect to see a fairly full strength lineup for the Revs with a few changes but nothing fans haven't seen before.
tBG) Kei Kamara has scored four goals in his 12 games as a member of the Revs. Is he living up to fan expectations in New England?
TBM) I think so, at the very least he fits right in with the Revs great build-up and shoddy finishing streak they've been on most of the year. The Revs have been a little more boom or bust with Kamara on the roster, with a 5W-6L-1D mark since the May trade to acquire the striker, which is a far better PPG mark than what the Revs were doing without him. In the short term, he's been an ironman for the Revs up top as they fight through the injury bug, and having a true target striker has helped the Revs with possession at times. Sadly, Kei is not a defender and there's still plenty of questions about the Revs backline as a unit as they continue to give up very awkward, strange and easy goals.
tBG) What will it be like for Revs fans to see Charlie Davies on the pitch in a Philadelphia Union uniform? What kind of reception do you think he will get?
TBM) I think Davies will get a heroes' welcome because he's Charlie Davies and he's still playing soccer. Personally I'm not bitter about the trade, but for the Revolution to be "sellers" at the end of the transfer/trade window is not something that went over well with fans. Still, that anger should be directed at the front office and not at Charlie himself who I predict will get a standing ovation from The Fort at Gillette.
Suspensions, injuries, etc.: OUT - MID Xavier Kouassi (DL), FOR Femi Hollinger-Janzen; QUESTIONABLE - FOR Juan Agudelo, DEF Donnie Smith
Predicted lineup: (4-2-3-1) - Bobby Shuttleworth; Chris Tierney, Jose Goncalves, London Woodberry, Andrew Farrell; Je-Vaughn Watson, Scott Caldwell; Diego Fagundez, Lee Nguyen, Teal Bunbury; Kei Kamara
Don't be surprised to see Open Cup keeper Brad Knighton stay in net as he and Shuttleworth have been rotating a bit the past few months. Open Cup Hero and utility man extraordinaire Watson returns to the holding midfield role next to Caldwell, but he could be another candidate for rest with Daigo Kobayashi and homegrown Zach Herivaux possible options there as well. Lee Nguyen should be pretty close to 100% following his midweek appearance off the bench so have fun dealing with that.
The Revolution need a big time performance after an 0-2 road trip to Orlando and Toronto. Sorry Charlie, but 2-0 to the Revs.