Previewing the Revs Season Opener versus Charlotte FC

Revs Season Opener vs Charlotte FC

The New England Revolution were abysmal last year and ended up six points outside of the playoff spots. Attentions now turn to a new season and the wires are crossed when it comes to expectations. Anything could happen in truth and it all begins with the Revs season opener, a trip to Charlotte!

Tomorrow will see the 2023 Revs Season Opener

New England Need to Bounce Back This Year

The Revs impressed in pre-season with wins over Nashville SC and Orlando City alongside one defeat coming at the hands of the Philadelphia Union. Charlotte FC meanwhile played five times and didn’t lose any, the two biggest tests against LA Galaxy and the Vancouver Whitecaps ending in draws.

Captain Carles Gil portrayed a message of optimism going into the Revs season opener. “Last season was tough. Things didn’t go the way we wanted them to. We intend to learn from those mistakes. I think we’re prepared.” Also, Head Coach Bruce Arena touched on the unpredictability of the return of MLS, saying “there’s not a whole lot we’re going to know about our opponent.”

These two sides met two times last season, in March and then April, with both clashes going in favour of the hosts. Pole Karol Swiderski netted twice at Bank of America Stadium and he remains a key figure in the Charlotte ranks. At Gillette Stadium, Adam Buksa and Matt Polster were on the score sheet for the Revs in a 2-1 victory.

One major factor to be considered for tomorrow’s game is the atmosphere that will be on display in North Carolina. This will be Charlotte’s second season in the league and a bumper crowd is expected, something which Arena alluded too. “I’m told a crowd that’s going to be around 50,000 people so I think that’s going to be a game where they’re going to be playing with a lot of energy to start the game, a lot of high pace to it and we’ll have to sort things out pretty quick.”

Gil meanwhile spoke of the excitement around such an affair: “I think everyone likes to play in these types of games with many fans and a big atmosphere.”

Read More: Can this New England Revolution 2023 Side Match the Achievements of 2 Years Prior?

Assessing the Attacking Options

There were a lot of players missing through injury last season for New England and Arena highlighted the knock-on effects of that. “With some of the injuries we’ve had and some players not yet here, it’s going to take us a while, probably a couple of months into the season where we can pretty well be certain about who our starting 11 is.” That doesn’t stop onlookers from predicting who will start the Revs season opener tomorrow.

Upfront is where a lot of question marks reside- Jozy Altidore is back from his loan spell in Mexico, Giacomo Vrioni spent most of 2022 sidelined and as of yesterday, Gustavo Bou still hadn’t returned to the States due to green card issues. Arena claimed that Bou “will be in Boston tomorrow” which is a huge boost for the Revs, but he is presumably far from match-ready. Vrioni scored against Orlando in pre-season and is the most likely candidate to be the starting striker.

Latif Blessing was one of a few off-season arrivals in Foxborough and after picking up a knock, Bruce confirmed that “he is practicing again”. The Ghanian international could play a huge role in that midfield alongside the likes of Polster and Gil.

On the flipside, there was heartbreak for Charlotte last month as it was confirmed that centre-back Anton Walkes had sadly passed away in a boating accident in Miami. This loss will certainly make tomorrow night’s game a poignant occasion as they honour the late Londoner.

The aforementioned Swiderski is a key piece for Christian Lattanzio whilst his fellow countryman Kamil Jozwiak is yet to really make an impact. He has had some pretty moments for both the Polish national team and Derby County in recent years and so could become a fans’ favourite in Charlotte with ease.

Charlotte have the ability to put the Revs to the sword but this really is a fixture that could go either way. The Revs season opener away at Charlotte takes place at 7:30pm ET tomorrow.

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