FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Only two teams in Major League Soccer have yet to play in front of their home fans, but on Saturday afternoon the New England Revolution will finally make their belated return to Gillette Stadium.
New England’s original home opener – scheduled for March 11 against Orlando City SC – was postponed because of extreme cold in the Northeast, but the forecast for this weekend shows highs in the mid-50s, so weather shouldn’t play a factor when the Revs host expansion side Minnesota United FC.
“We’ve been really excited to play our first game at home,” said Kei Kamara. “I think (almost) everyone in the league has played in their home stadium, and it helps. We’re looking forward to that.”
The Revs enter the weekend still in search of their first points after opening the season with a pair of road losses in Colorado and Dallas, and coming home should provide a boost. New England went 9-4-4 in Foxborough last year, including four straight wins to close the campaign.
It was the Revolution’s attack that benefited most from that home-field advantage last year, as they scored 11 goals in their final four home games.
“We play a lot better at home, and we want to see that,” said Diego Fagundez. “All of us are excited to be home for the first time, and to show the fans that these two away games were tough, that we’re ready to play, and we’re going to show them a result.”
“There were moments in both games in Colorado and in Dallas that are positives, but we can be better,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “I think we all know that, and Saturday’s another chance to be better.”
The only acceptable result on Saturday, according to Kamara, is a victory, and while that begins with being solid at the back, it will also require the Revs to jumpstart their attack.
“If we’re going to play at home, there’s only one thing we’re going to go for, which is three points, and you can’t get three points without goals,” said Kamara. “All those things play a factor. We’re really looking forward to it.”