Editor's note: I have no idea whether the Revolution are a team of destiny.
The Revolution are a team of destiny.
Think about it. Teams of destiny have been known to:
- Be underdogs
- Hit rock bottom and turn it around
- Rally around a goalie that anyone could have had
- Catch breaks
FOLKS, THAT'S A CHECK-CHECK-CHECK-CHECK.
The Revolution enter Saturday's first-round matchup as No. 7 seeds against the No. 2 Atlanta United FC. There's the underdog part. The team was tied for last in MLS in points when they fired their head coach after a 2-8-2 start. There's the rock bottom. Matt Turner was undrafted out of Fairfield but has been dynamite in goal this season.
As for the breaks, they've gone both ways. Anyone who watched the NYC FC game where the Revs got called for a bogus red card in the first 10 minutes knows the Revs haven't had the best fortune, but they're catching a break and half in the form of Atlanta being without one of their best players.
Atlanta is one of only three teams to beat the Bruce Arena-led Revolution. They had star defender Miles Robinson for that game though, and they won't Saturday. Robinson, who is from Arlington (cool!) finished third in MLS Defender of the Year voting. I don't know how soccer is, ya know, played, but I imagine he would have been a big part of Atlanta's efforts to stop New England's duo of Gustavo Bou and Carles Gil.
- SATURDAY 1:00pm: New England Revolution at Atlanta United FC
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The Revs are also good on the road. They're 3-2-5 under Arena on the road, but one of those losses absolutely doesn't count because it was that stupid NYC FC game. At any rate, the Revs don't seem fazed by road environments, which is good because Atlanta gets absolutely crazy for these games. They fill Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which holds over 70,000 people.
When I asked Arena, whom I think is my friend, about his team's ability to play well away from Gillette, he quipped, "we're not smart enough to realize we're on the road." That is classic coaching, calling your players dumb while also acknowledging a strength. Arena is always coaching, even when doing sweet interviews with his friends.
The Revolution provided Boston with the entertaining summer they were missing with the Red Sox. In a single-elimination format, I refuse to accept that a banged-up No. 2 seed is a sure thing to close out a team with as much life as the Revs. I don't think we'll be watching the end of the New England season on Saturday at 1 p.m. I think we're watching the beginning of a run.
See you next week, or whenever the second round of the soccer playoffs are. I don't know when that is.
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