It’s rare for a MLS club to get an extended rest ahead of a U.S. Open Cup clash, and it’s a luxury the Revolution certainly won’t complain about with Wednesday’s quarterfinal match against D.C. United on tap.
Taking into account last week’s bye from league action, the Revolution have had 10 days to recuperate and prepare for the midweek match at Maryland SoccerPlex. And perhaps just as importantly, the players were given the weekend off from training.
“It doesn’t happen often, that’s for sure,” Guy told the media on Monday. “But to get a couple of days to get away from the game, clear our heads, see our families (and) have some fun I think is definitely something that we were all were looking forward to.”
They may be refreshed and refocused, but the Revolution can’t afford to let their recent respite carry over into Wednesday’s contest against their longtime rivals.
Despite D.C.’s disappointing form in league action (2-11-3, 9 points) this season, it’s worth noting that this is the same team that shut down the Revolution’s resurgent offense in a 0-0 draw on Jun. 8.
More recently, they picked up a long-overdue morale boost when they claimed a 1-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes last Saturday, giving them their first set of three points in over three months.
“It’s going to be a big challenge no matter what,” Rowe told the media on Monday. “They’re a good team, they just haven’t followed through in their games. They just found their first win (since Mar. 9) and so I think they’re really looking forward to keep building (on that), and we’re not going to let it happen.”
To keep D.C. from building upon last weekend’s rare win, expect the Revolution to field a cast similar to the one that’s tallied nine goals in their last two Open Cup clashes.
Proven veterans like Guy, Kalifa Cisse, Matt Reis, Chad Barrett, and Darrius Barnes are all in line for extended looks against D.C., as well as rookie Andrew Farrell, who was red carded in the Jun. 15 contest in Vancouver and won’t be eligible for Saturday’s league game at Chivas USA.
Meanwhile, Rowe will be called upon to deliver the goods in the attacking midfielder’s role after bagging four goals in Open Cup play this year. Additionally, striker Dimitry Imbongo, who’s scored in back-to-back games against New York (Jun. 12) and Vancouver (Jun. 15), will likely find his name on the starting lineup as well.
“I think we’ve got great depth this year and that’s shown throughout the Open Cup,” Guy said. “We’re scoring a lot of goals, and we need to continue to do that. Again, we’ve got the depth to be able to play through these last three games, as well as play through the league and we’re all really excited for it.”
The 10-day rest was a welcome development, no doubt. But Guy knows it’s time to get back to business, especially with a storied piece of hardware at stake.
“I think we’re ready to go,” Guy said. “I think we’re healthier than we’ve been in a long time, and we’ve got some guys with hot feet right now.”