The Revolution (1-0-1, 4 pts.) will hope to avoid the loss column for the third straight week when they play their first-ever match against the expansion Portland Timbers (0-2-0, 0 pts.) on Saturday, April 2, 2011, at Gillette Stadium. The game will start at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised live on Comcast SportsNet New England. The game will also be broadcast on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Although the Revs have never faced the Timbers before, the hosts must like their chances. Since 2000, they have not lost when facing an expansion team for the first time (5-0-2).
Here are some other notable facts surrounding the Revolution’s first-ever meeting against the Timbers:
-- Saturday night’s match against the Timbers will be the first of two matches between New England and Portland. The next match will take place in Portland on September 16, 2011 at JELD-WEN Field.
-- One Portland player who’s sure to get a warm welcome from the Foxboro faithful is Timbers goalkeeper Adin Brown, who played for the Revolution from 2002-2004. The former New England netminder played 83 career games for the Revs, and posted a 1.73 goals against average and recorded 15 shutouts. He became somewhat of a local legend among Revolution supporters when his spectacular play during the 2002 MLS playoffs (0.67 GAA, 4 shutouts in 7 games) steered the team to its first-ever MLS Cup Final.
-- Timbers defender Kevin Goldthwaite and Revolution defender Ryan Cochrane (who hails from Portland) were Houston Dynamo teammates in 2006 - the same year that saw the Dynamo claim their first MLS Cup Championship.
-- Although this will be the first time the expansion Timbers will play in Foxboro, it will not mark the first time that a team named the Portland Timbers will play in New England. During the original run of the North American Soccer League, the Boston Minutemen beat the Portland Timbers 2-1 in Boston on July 12, 1975 in front of 2,800 fans at Nickerson Field.
Revolution manager Steve Nicol will likely unleash the following lineup against the Timbers on Saturday:
GK Matt Reis
D Didier Domi
D A.J. Soares
D Ryan Cochrane
D Kevin Alston
M Kenny Mansally
M Stephen McCarthy
M Shalrie Joseph
M Pat Phelan
M Zak Boggs
F Zack Schilawski
Brian O'Connell is covering the Revolution for ESPNBoston.com. He is the co-founder of New England Soccer Today (www.nesoccertoday.com), which covers professional soccer within New England. He can be reached at BOConnell21@aol.com.