Weekly Update: Let the games begin

Revs open 2013 season at Chicago on Saturday on NBC Sports Network

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution kicks off its 2013 Major League Soccer schedule this Saturday, March 9, when the team travels to Chicago to face the Fire in a nationally-televised game on NBC Sports Network. NBC Sports Network’s coverage is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET.

In preparation for this weekend’s season kickoff, the Revs will host their annual Media Day on Tuesday, March 5, at Gillette Stadium.

In conjunction with the team’s first game of the season, the Revs will host a pair of Away Game Watch Parties on Saturday in collaboration with the team’s two supporters groups. Parties will be held at The Banshee in Dorchester, Mass., with the Midnight Riders, and at Ri Ra Providence in Providence, R.I., with The Rebellion.

Injury Reports: This year, Revolution injury reports will be available in team’s game notes, which are distributed ahead of each game and included in the MLS Game Guides. The Revolution tries to distribute game notes 48-72 hours in advance of the next game.

ICYMI

Feb. 27: Left-sided speedster Smith is a rare breed

Feb. 28: Soffner eager to learn, develop with Revs

Feb. 28: Saer Sene injury update (Video)

March 1: As rest of MLS opens, Revs continue preseason prep

March 1: 2013 TV Spot: #BeThere323 (Video)

March 1: New Rev: Gabe Latigue (Video)

THIS WEEK’S HEADLINES

Revs Open 18th Season
The Revs kick off their 18th season on Saturday, entering the year with a 194-231-102 all-time record since the league’s launch in 1996 … New England has scored 815 goals and has posted 112 shutouts … the Revs have appeared in the postseason on 10 occasions, including a stretch of eight consecutive playoff berths from 2002 to 2009 before missing the MLS Cup Playoffs in each of the last three years (2010-12) … New England is one of nine original MLS teams still playing in MLS.

Milestone Night for Reis?
Saturday night’s match in Chicago could be a memorable one for Matt Reis ... should he draw the start in goal,  Reis will not only claim sole possession of fourth place on MLS’ career starts list for goalkeepers (277), but he will also tie for fourth place on MLS’ career appearances list for goalkeepers (282) ... with 242 Revs appearances, Reis also enters Saturday’s game one appearance shy of head coach Jay Heaps’ second-place mark of 243 on the Revs’ career appearances list … Reis is already in second place on the Revs’ career starts list at 241 ... Reis has been a stalwart in the team’s lineup since 2003.

Battle at Midway
The 2013 season marks the third time the Revs will open their season against Chicago (2003, 2007) … the Revs are 0-1-1 in their previous two season openers at Chicago: a 1-1 draw on April 13, 2003 (Cardinal Stadium) and a 1-0 loss on April 7, 2007 (Toyota Park) … entering Saturday’s game, the Revs trail the Fire, 15-19-9, in the all-time regular-season series, but won the three-game season series last year with a 2-1-0 record.

Looking for First Win at Toyota Park
Saturday’s match in Chicago gives the Revs an opportunity to snap a seven-game winless streak in the Windy City, which dates back to April 2007 … since earning a 2-1 win on July 8, 2006, New England is 0-6-1 in regular-season matches played at Toyota Park.

Starting the Season ...
Heading into Saturday’s opener against Chicago, the Revs are 4-9-4 all-time in MLS season openers, including a 3-9-4 mark on the road … the Revs have only opened an MLS regular season at home on one occasion – a 3-0 win over the Houston Dynamo at Gillette Stadium on March 29, 2008 … six of the Revs’ last seven season openers have resulted in a shutout decision, with New England posting a 3-3-0 record in those matches … in 2012, the Revs lost 1-0 at San Jose to open the season.

Year Two under Jay Heaps
Jay Heaps begins his second season at the helm of the Revolution … last season he lead the team to a 9-17-8 (35 pts.) record … Heaps, 36, is the sixth head coach in club history and is the third-youngest head coach in MLS (behind Toronto’s Ryan Nelsen and DC’s Ben Olsen) … Heaps had a nine-year playing career in MLS, first with the Miami Fusion beginning in 1999 – when he was drafted second overall in the MLS College Draft before earning MLS Rookie of the Year honors that season – through June 2001 ... he was traded to his hometown club, New England, in June 2001 where he concluded his career before retiring following the 2009 season.

Heaps’ Opener Records
Jay Heaps’ teams are 0-1-0 in season openers under his watch as head coach – a 1-0 loss at San Jose in 2012 … as a player for the Revs, Jay Heaps’ Revolution teams went 2-3-2 in eight seasons he was on the field for the season opener (2002-09)… Heaps’ teams went 3-4-3 all-time in season openers, including a 1-1-1 mark in his three season openers he played while with the Miami Fusion (1999-2001).

Guy in Myanmar representing Guam
Ryan Guy is currently with Guam for qualifiers for the AFC Challenge Cup in Myanmar … Guam’s qualification group includes India, Myanmar and Chinese Taipei, who will all play in a round-robin tournament … the winner advances to the AFC Challenge Cup in Maldives next year … Guam’s early results include a 5-0 loss to Myanmar (Saturday, March 2) and a 4-0 loss to India (Monday, March 4) … Guam closes the tournament against Chinese Taipei on Wednesday, March 6.

Single-game tickets on sale
Single-game tickets to 2013 New England Revolution matches are now on sale through all Ticketmaster outlets … individual tickets purchased in advance start at $24 for bowl seating … the Revolution’s Ticketmaster page is available HERE.

National Anthem contest launched
The Revolution is giving local musicians the opportunity to perform in the same venue where superstars like Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney and Bon Jovi will play this summer ... ahead of its first-ever National Anthem Auditions in March, the Revolution is looking for talented soloists, groups, instrumentalists and other unique musicians to perform the anthem for the team’s 2013 home games at Gillette Stadium... performers interested in being considered can submit their sample performances digitally between now and 4 p.m. on Friday, March 15 ... more information on the National Anthem auditions, including how to make submissions is available HERE.

SATURDAY’S OPPONENT & SERIES INFORMATION

Revolution vs. Chicago (regular-season): 15-19-9
Home: 11-8-3
Away: 4-11-6

Team Notes against Chicago

  • Saturday’s match will be the 44th MLS regular-season meeting between the two teams and the 63rd meeting overall, including MLS Cup Playoffs, U.S. Open Cup and SuperLiga meetings
  • Chicago leads the all-time regular-season series between the two teams, 19-15-9 … in all meetings including outside competitions, Chicago holds a 29-23-10 edge in the series
  • The Revs are 4-11-6 in road games against Chicago, including a 1-6-2 mark at Toyota Park
  • The Revs won the 2012 three-game series, 2-1-0 ... the Revs won both games at Gillette Stadium: 2-0 on June 2 and 1-0 on Oct. 20 ... the Revs’ 2-0 victory on June 2 snapped the Revs’ 10-game, regular-season winless streak (0-7-3) against Chicago that dated back to October 6, 2007
  • The Revs are a combined 4-10-4 in all competitions against the Fire since the start of the 2008 season ... that record includes 12 regular-season games, four playoff matches and two SuperLiga games
  • The Revs and Fire have met in seven of the last 11 postseasons (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009) … in total, the teams have met in the playoffs in eight seasons, all since 2000

Player Notes against Chicago

  • Despite playing in Europe since 2008, Andy Dorman is the Revs’ active leading scorer against Chicago with two goals and two assists in 14 games against the Fire ... all of his points came in 2006
  • Ryan Guy has two goals in four appearances against the Fire … Guy recorded two stoppage-time goals at Chicago on Sept. 25, 2011
  • Kelyn Rowe has recorded one goal and two assists against Chicago in three meetings
  • Diego Fagundez recorded his first career assist on Ryan Guy’s second goal against Chicago on Sept. 25, 2011
  • Matt Reis is the Revolution’s all-time wins leader against the Fire with 11, and has posted a 1.45 goals against average with six shutouts … Reis also has three career postseason shutouts in seven appearances against Chicago
  • Bobby Shuttleworth is 1-0-0 against Chicago, posting a one-save shutout against the Fire on Oct. 20, 2012

REVOLUTION ACADEMY UPDATE

Spring schedule underway
All three of the Revolution Academy’s youth teams returned to action last weekend, earning a combined 2-0-1 record … the Under-14s started the day with a 2-1 win over Oakwood … the Under-18s then played to a 1-1 draw with FC Westchester before the Under-16s cruised to 7-0 win over FC Westchester … the teams return to action on Sunday, March 10, when the U18s and U16s travel to face Seacoast United in Portsmouth, N.H.

Season to-date records
Following last weekend’s games, the Under-18s are 8-2-1 (25 pts.) overall and rank third in the Northeast Division of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy’s East Conference based on points per game … the Under-16s hold a 5-2-4 record (19 pts.) and are currently in fourth place in the division … the Under-14s are now 5-2-0 (15 pts.), which is good for sixth in U.S. Club Soccer’s Northeast Pre-Academy League based on points per game.

Summer Player Development Programs enrolling
The Revolution Academy’s Player Development Programs are now enrolling for summer sessions, with locations all over New England … the Revolution Academy trains players of all abilities in all aspect of the game, including ball mastery, speed of play, coordination and balance and movement with and without the ball … the objective of all the training programs is to replicate the speed, tempo and environment of the Revolution Youth Teams’ training sessions … through the age-appropriate player development sessions, we foster an atmosphere that is competitive, challenging, demanding and fun … encouragement and support from our professional coaching staff allows every player to gain a better understanding of – and continued passion for – the game … more information, including the full summer schedule, is available HERE