FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – A busy week begins with a big opportunity for the New England Revolution.
The Revs will host the Philadelphia Union in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal on Wednesday night at Harvard University’s Jordan Field (GET TICKETS). The winner will advance to the semifinals and be one step closer to an Open Cup title and a berth in the 2017-2018 CONCACAF Champions League.
Wednesday night’s game is a rematch of a 2014 quarterfinal, which the Union won en route to an appearance in the competition’s title game. That meeting, however, was in Pennsylvania, and the Revs know that having a home game this deep in the competition is a significant advantage.
“It’s always huge to have a home game,” said Jordan McCrary, who started New England’s first two Open Cup matches on the road against the Carolina RailHawks and New York Cosmos, both of NASL. “You get the home crowd. We’re excited.”
This will be the first time the Revs host a game this late in the competition since 2008, when they won a home quarterfinal against Crystal Palace Baltimore before falling to D.C. United on the road in the semifinals. The Revs also hosted a quarterfinal and a semifinal in 2007 on their way to the title.
Revolution head coach Jay Heaps admits that the weight of this opportunity will inform his squad selection on Wednesday night. A blend of regular starters and depth players have comprised New England’s lineups in their first two Open Cup games, and while that will likely be the case once more against Philadelphia, Heaps hinted that he may shade a bit more toward his strongest group.
“It’s going to come midweek, so you’ve got to be able to use your depth, but also now you get closer to being in a final,” Heaps said. “We have to make sure that we prepare the right way, use a certain number of guys who are ready – guys that are fit – and blend it with a couple new additions to the lineup.
“(We’ll) really give it our best effort, because going into a (potential) semifinal, especially playing at home, is a really good opportunity.”