See what I did there?
Last year, the Timbers trip to Foxboro looked like an opportunity to pick up the first road points of the season. While it was the first road point, I’ll admit to some disappointment that it wasn’t a win.
This year, if possible, the expectation is even higher. In two road games the Revolution have looked mostly abject. Worse, they have picked up some injuries that will severely constrain Jay Heaps’ choice of lineup.
Perahps the most troublesome is the back line – between injuries and Stephen McCarthy’s one-game suspension for his red card in the game against Sporting KC, the Revolution have only one center back available for the game. In the grand scheme, this is not that tragic a situation – Shalrie Joseph is an obvious candidate to play back there (and indeed, that’s how Heaps arranged the squad against SKC after the red card). The Revolution have also experimented with a 3-5-2 during the pre-season, but with Kris Boyd to defend, that sounds like a recipe for disaster. It’s more likely that they’ll line up 4-4-2 with Joseph in the back.
Shifting Joseph back, however, leaves the Revolution with very little firepower up front. Nyassi is out. Feilhaber (who has looked threatening and shown a real interest in scoring goals) is doubtful. Saër Séne has looked good, but without the playmakers in the midfield one wonders how he’ll be relevant.
Meanwhile, the Timbers are spoiled for choice. Songo’o should see some time on Saturday, which will be exciting – he was a force of nature in the pre-season. After showing character and opportunism in the draw away to Dallas, my darling Darlington Nagbe is staking a claim for a spot in the starting eleven. However, the synergy between Perlaza and Boyd has been pretty good, as well. Maybe a 4-3-3?
Who knows. The point is that we really ought to win this game.