FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Just one month into the 2013 season it’s far too early for any game to be classified as a “must-win,” but New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps didn’t shy away from placing a bit of extra significance on Saturday afternoon’s meeting with Seattle Sounders FC.
“To be honest with you, I don’t know many games we go into where we don’t feel all that desperate,” he said. “We just don’t have the luxury right now as a group. Every game, we need to get a result. It’s vital for both teams.”
Both sides have endured difficult starts to the season and enter the weekend hoping to reverse course. The Revs haven’t won – or scored – since a season-opening victory over the Chicago Fire, while the Sounders are currently the last remaining winless club in MLS.
Although still early in the season, New England knows all too well how a difficult spell can snowball into something more. Last year the Revs watched as a promising start faded away with a 10-game winless run through the summer months, and that’s exactly the kind of spell the Revs are hoping to avoid at any point in 2013.
“We’re trying to make sure that in this new team and this new season, we do things a little bit differently and try not to let losses accumulate,” said goalkeeper Matt Reis. “It’s really important for us to go out there and get a good result. Seattle, with the struggles they’ve gone through this year … they’re going to be hungry and in front of their home fans they don’t want to suffer another defeat.”
League play has yielded just one point for the Sounders, who were also eliminated in the semifinal round of the CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday night. But despite bowing out to Liga MX side Santos Laguna on aggregate, the Sounders did put forth a confidence-boosting performance in a 1-1 draw at Estadio Corona.
“I think they needed a performance like they put in [on Tuesday night] and obviously their focus shifts now to the league,” said Chris Tierney. “They’ll have pressure on them to win at home and we’ll try to use that pressure against them and try to nip something.”