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New England braces for United backlash

As New England prepares to face D.C. United on Saturday night, the Revs are bracing for a potential United backlash.

D.C. started its campaign with a 4-0 drubbing in Kansas City last weekend and should be eager to atone for the difficult defeat in front of its home fans.

Revolution coach Steve Nicol said the inclination to expect an intense rebuttal from United doesn't necessarily comport with how teams always respond to heavy defeats.

“You don't know,” Nicol said. “It's entirely up to them. It depends on what type of characters they have in the team. Two things can happen: you can either come out all guns blazing or you can be timid. We're hoping they're timid.”

All hopes aside, Nicol pointed out the influence the tight confines at CommunityAmerica Ballpark and the soggy weather had on the final outcome.

“Nobody likes to be beat 4-nil, but I don't think [United coach] Curt [Onalfo] should be overly worried about it,” Nicol said. “He knows what it's like on that field. He's been there. I'm shocked there's not more results like that [there].”

United isn't the only side involved in the match aching to respond after an opening day defeat. After falling to Los Angeles 1-0 at the Home Depot Center last Saturday, New England also faces some pressure to pick up a result to avoid two consecutive losses to start the campaign.

Revolution defender Cory Gibbs said he expects United to storm out of the blocks on Saturday night but said his team was ready to rise to the occasion.

“The worst situation for us is that they did lose 4-0,” Gibbs said. “Now they're coming home and playing in a rough environment [for visiting teams]. For us, we didn't get the three points also. It's going to be a dogfight. It's going to be a tough environment and a difficult game, but I think we're ready to match it.”