The New England Revolution may be flying high in league play, but their US Open Cup dreams are over. After defeating Hartford Athletic in the first round, Bruce Arena’s men were unable to overcome the Pittsburgh Riverhounds as attacking midfielder Danny Griffin scored the only goal of the game. Can the Revs look past this Open Cup disappointment as they travel down to Miami?
Will Open Cup Disappointment Loom Over the Revs?
Who Will Get the Nod in Florida?
As has regularly been the case in recent years, the Revolution’s injury list is building up. Henry Kessler and Dylan Borrero are the two big names with substantial injuries joining the likes of Tommy McNamara and Maciel in the treatment room. On top of that, DP forward Giacomo Vrioni is listed as questionable with a ‘left leg’ injury.
When the absentees stack up, others need to fill in, a sentiment echoed by Bobby Wood. “We have a very deep roster, and this is exactly why we have a deep roster. I think guys have to step up because those are very big losses for us.”
PITTSBURGH ELIMINATES NEW ENGLAND IN FOXBOROUGH! (And do we ever love saying that!)
— Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC (@RiverhoundsSC) May 10, 2023
One player who will be hoping to pick up minutes on familiar territory is Ben Sweat. The fullback was born and raised in Florida, Palm Harbor to be specific and went to the University of South Florida. Since joining the Revolution, Sweat has made three appearances. His debut came against his former employers Sporting Kansas City and he started in the Open Cup disappointment too.
Bruce Arena vs Phil Neville
Given his experience in the league, Bruce Arena has crossed paths with pretty much every head coach under the sun. The same goes for Phil Neville, as Arena spoke about to the media. “Phil and I go back a ways. I can’t remember when I first met him, but there were times when our wives had a little dialogue as well, and obviously I know Phil through David Beckham. He’s a good man. He’s done a good job there under challenging circumstances.”
When Neville took over Inter Miami they were a hugely troubled team both on and off of the pitch. In spite of their financial clout, they struggled in their early MLS days. Their fortunes have certainly changed and Arena is very aware of their current abilities. “They had a good year last year and I’m sure over a 34-game schedule, they’re going to do fine.”
Josef Martinez left the field angry tonight when he was subbed out, bypassing Phil Neville and punching a couple of chairs when he approached the bench.
Neville postgame on the frustration: “I liked it.”#InterMiamiCF
— Franco Panizo (@FrancoPanizo) May 10, 2023
These two sides have met four times since Miami joined Major League Soccer. They have both enjoyed a win and a loss each on home soil, there really is very little to separate them. Neville’s side are currently down in 10th place in the East whilst the Revs are of course leading the way, so form favours the more experienced MLS outfit.
Arena highlighted forwards Josef Martinez and Leo Campagna as a huge threat, as well as saying this: “we expect it to be about 75 degrees at kickoff, which is a little different for us, so that’ll be a bit challenging as we enter the summer months.” The climate is something that always keeps MLS teams on their toes- will the Revolution have what it takes to make up for their Open Cup disappointment?
Featured image credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports, taken on May 9, 2023.
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