Foxborough, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - The New England Revolution will try to claim their first win of the season on Saturday when the club opens the home portion of its schedule against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Gillette Stadium.
It's been a tough start to the 2014 campaign for the Revolution. After unexpectedly reaching the postseason and pushing the eventual champion Sporting Kansas City last year, the Revs came out flat in their season opener on March 8 against the Houston Dynamo and were thumped, 4-0, at BBVA Compass Stadium.
It didn't get any better for the Revolution the following week as the club was without 2013 Defender of the Year Jose Goncalves and fell, 1-0, to the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park.
New England was completely overrun by Philadelphia's new-look midfield in the first half of last week's clash as the Union kept almost 80 percent of possession and were rewarded with a goal in the 31st minute when Leo Fernandes spun away from Andrew Farrell and got free down the left wing before crossing for Sebastien Le Toux, who easily tapped it past Revs goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
New England's best chance to equalize came in the final moments of the first half as Diego Fagundez got free in front of goal, but put his shot off the leg of Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath.
"We played hard, tried to win the game and we did not," Revs head coach Jay Heaps said. "Unfortunately, we did not. We did take our chances, but credit Philadelphia for their game.
"We tried to focus on winning this game, put the best possible lineup we could to win this game."
Heaps will also have some lineup choices to make this week as Goncalves has reportedly made it clear that he doesn't want to play due to a contract dispute, while star midfielder Kelyn Rowe missed the Philadelphia match because of a nagging hamstring injury. But the former third overall draft selection is hoping to be back on Saturday.
"It was precautionary," Rowe said. "I thought it was smart to keep me out. It���s still early in the season. Jay made a decision to keep me out and I'm hoping to be back this week."
Vancouver, meanwhile, is coming off a 1-1 draw with Chivas USA at the StubHub Center. Erick Torres gave the Goats the lead just before halftime, but Kekuta Manneh rescued a point for the 'Caps with an equalizer nine minutes from time to keep the club's unbeaten record alive after a 4-1 thrashing of Red Bull New York on March 8.
"I think it was an interesting game. I don't think we performed as well as we did last week, but a draw is probably a fair result," Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson said.
The teams met once last season in Vancouver at BC Place with the Whitecaps pulling out a 4-3 victory courtesy of a brace from Kenny Miller.