The schedules for the Revolution and Revs II were recently released, and we have a couple of thoughts. Of course, there are a few highlights:
10 of the first 17 Revs games and 8 of the first 14 Revs II matches are at home
This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Given my reporting from earlier this year, New England has had a home-heavy front half of the schedule in each of the last nine seasons, and 2020 will be no different.
Here’s the last nine seasons’ first halves for reference:
2019: 10 home matches through first 18
2018: 10 home through 17
2017: 8 home through 16
2016: 8 home through 14
2015: 9 home through 16
2014: 8 home through 17
2013: 8 home through 17
2012: 9 home through 17
2011: 9 home through 16
One of the problems Revolution supporters have had with the home-heavy front half in the past is the club’s poor road form, which due to that, unfortunately, coincides with the stretch run in the MLS season. This past year, however, saw New England post a 3-6-8 record worth 17 points, its best road form in a number of years. I have to think that with the moves Bruce Arena has made since the close of the season, the road form in 2020 should improve.
Notice I say should.
The same is true for Revs II, the newly established USL League One side the club has launched. They, too, will play in Gillette, with 8 of their first 14 games — League One plays a 28-match schedule — played at Fortress Foxborough. That means 6 of the final 14 will be home.
In perusing the schedule, the two sides will be at home the same day twice:
April 25: Revs host Montreal, Revs II host Toronto FC II
July 8: Revs host Atlanta United, Revs II host Toronto FC II
In addition, there are a number of weekends where the Revs and Revs II are home the same weekend, on consecutive days, a further seven times.
No tilts with Galaxy, Dallas, or Vancouver in 2020
Interesting to see this. The Galaxy were slated to come to Foxborough — if the league stuck with the usual scheduling plan — for the first time since July 14, 2018, when the Revs blew a 2-1 lead with two goals deep into second-half stoppage time. That came in front of New England’s largest crowd of the season, because of the Zlatan factor (and he never even made the trip) as well as Boston vs. LA.
Also no Dallas on the schedule, who the Revolution haven’t played since the season opener in 2019, and no Vancouver. No visit to the Whitecaps means the Revs will have a different charter trip this season.
We should mention, however, that New England will play the Galaxy and ‘Caps during the preseason, so there’s that.
Of course, all of this is due to two new clubs added to the schedule, with Inter Miami FC and Nashville SC entering the league. The Revs will play Miami twice, and Nashville once (July 11, at Gillette).
Here’s hoping that with Austin entering the league in 2021, and maybe another club depending on the timeline, that the Revs will be able to re-establish matches against these Western Conference opponents in the near future.
A few other interesting tidbits
The Revs will be home during my birthday weekend; I’m a May 3 baby, and the Revolution will host New York City FC on May 2. I would like a serenade from The Fort, please and thank you.
Depending on the scheduling by US Soccer, expect the Fourth Round of the US Open Cup to be either June 2/3 (between Chicago and DC United) or the following week, June 9/10 (between DC United and the trip to the Bronx). If it’s the latter date, you have a minimum of five matches in 14 days. And if the Revs win that Fourth Round Open Cup fixture, add two more matches — seven — in three weeks, with an Open Cup quarterfinal against an unknown opponent and a league match with Inter.
Three straight Western Conference games right at the beginning of the season: host Portland, at Real Salt Lake, host Colorado.
Two bye weeks in the Revs schedule: weekend of March 28 (the Revs II home opener), and weekend of Sept. 5.
At Houston on the Fourth of July weekend. Yuck.
Back-to-back tilts against LAFC (Friday, August 7) and Atlanta United (Wednesday, August 12). Dear me… that’s tough. But if you want to be a champion, you have to play against those two teams anyway. And it’s in the middle of a four-match road trip from August 1 (at San Jose) to August 15 (at Columbus).
New York trips: at the Red Bulls on Saturday, April 18, and at the Bronx Blues on Sunday, June 14. That game is at Yankee Stadium, not at Citi Field.