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Impact vs Revolution : Three Questions with The Bent Musket

There is no time to breathe. After winning against Alajuelense, the Impact are facing the New England Revolutions, the MLS finalist for 2014 Saturday PM. I reach out to Steve from The Bent Musket to ask him a few questions on the team.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

1-After a wonderful season last year, what are the expectations for 2015?

For fans, expectations are nothing less than a return to MLS Cup. The idea is that this team overachieved slightly last season, but with that foundation to build on, they should be looking to improve and improvement is getting back to the promised land. I think fans stop short of expecting a win; a lot of luck and other factors go into winning a championship, so we can be reasonable and expect you to get there.

That said, I wonder if the club has the same ambition. Think of the Patriots philosophy: not a championship every year, but competitive every year. Playoffs every year. I think the Revs are looking at the same philosophy, which means the organization's expectations are not an MLS Cup return. I'm sure they'd like that, but I'm equally sure they'd consider another playoff campaign a season that meets expectations.

2-We all know Jermaine Jones or Lee Nguyen who are dominant players on both side of the fields but if the Rev's need to improve by signing a DP what position and what type of player it would be ?


At this point? A defender. The Revs need a defender very, very badly. At least it looks that way; the starting back line of Tierney-Farrell-Goncalves-Alston is getting abused left and right, specifically that central pairing. Farrell and Goncalves are both excellent defenders in their own right, but paired together, they are too similar to be effective. Goncalves is more the complete package, with a better sense of positioning than Farrell, who flies around with complete abandon and leaves massive gaps throughout the line. Both are excellent one-on-one defenders; together, they distort the line and fail to hold position, and it's resulted in five goals conceded over two games.

3-After 2 games, The Rev's failed to score a single goal, what is the main reason behind this slow start? What the team need to do better? What's the difference between last year?


Actually, there is no difference between now and last year. The Revs are notorious slow starters. Last season they were also 0-2-0 with five goals conceded and none scored going into their third match, a match which they drew 0-0. They didn't score at all until week four, when they put up two against San Jose, one of which was an own goal. In 2013 they went 0-3-1 with three goals conceded in March, and in 2012, they started the season 0-2-0 with four goals conceded.

Since Jay Heaps took over, Revolution form has been predictable in two particular areas: they start slow, and they slump in the summer. It's happened just about every year. So as frustrating and painful to watch as this has been, it's nothing new. As far as changing things this season, what they need to do is finish their chances. Sunday in New York could easily have been a 2-2 draw or something else completely different if Juan Agudelo, Diego Fagundez, Kelyn Rowe, and everyone else had just put away their chances. And most of them weren't half-chances, either, they were gifts. Sitters, even. No one should really worry that the attack is off to a slow start. The signs are all there that they will click and get it together before long.

4-Finally what’s your starting 11 and a predictions for the game


This is an already-thin roster, and it's missing Goncalves, Alston, Bunbury, and Jones this week. Still, they'll have to make do, and they'll probably do that with the following:

Shuttleworth; Tierney, Farrell, Barnes, Hall; Dorman, Kobayashi; Fagundez, Nguyen, Rowe; Agudelo

Caldwell could start over Kobayashi. Honestly, I don't know why he didn't last week. Dorman could also slot in at center-back, a move that wouldn't make any sense to me but would be in line with puzzling, outside-the-box moves that Heaps has made in the past. That would put Caldwell firmly in line to start, I would think.

For the result, I predict a 0-0 draw. Montreal coming off of a short week should struggle to break down even this shaky defense, but it's still early in the season, it'll probably be cold, and the Revs aren't in full gear yet. This might get boring.

A special thanks to Steve Stoehr for taking the time to answer my questions. You can follow him on twitter  @Stoehrst