FOXBOROUGH — With the heinous ending from Saturday night’s 3-2 defeat still fresh in their minds and the skies over Gillette Stadium thickening until swollen, the Revolution returned to training during Monday afternoon’s broilerfest in anticipation of not only Wednesday’s road tilt with — and first visit to — Minnesota United FC, but also a trip to Harrison to take on the New York Red Bulls Saturday.
The team will fly to Minneapolis Tuesday and train there that afternoon. Kick-off Wednesday night is slated for 8 p.m. before a flight to New Jersey Thursday morning. The Revs will train in the Garden State Thursday and Friday in preparation for their match with the Energy Drinks.
The Boys In Blue on Wednesday, however, will be without midfielder Cristian Penilla (red card suspension) defensive midfielder Luis Caicedo, and centerback Antonio Delamea, the latter two to yellow card accumulation suspensions.
Those three absences will open things up for the Revs (7-5-7, 28 points, 5th Eastern Conference) in terms of giving others valuable playing time. Manager Brad Friedel hasn't given anything away to the media during training sessions, and we can play Guess The Formation all we want.
However, we can expect at least three changes, maybe more, to Wednesday's XI.
“This is an opportunity for other players to come in and I have no doubt they’ll do well,” Friedel said in the bowels of Gillette Stadium, after a heavy duty pop-up shower arrived right at the end of training.
The Revolution will have to deal with a Loons (7-11-1, 22 points, 9th Western Conference) side that has some dangerous players to remain aware of as the match evolves. Colombian designated player/forward Darwin Quintero had seven goals this season, his first in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and has pace up top in a 3-5-2 formation alongside Christian Ramirez (four goals, one assist), with Miguel Ibarra (five goals, five assists) in support on the right wing.
Brazilian midfielder Ibson generally plays next to Ibarra and has scored three goals and helped on another.
Most of Minnesota’s goals have come from that right-hand side of the pitch.
Friedel believes the Revolution can crack the Loons.
“(The 3-5-2) allows some spaces that we can attack into when we have the ball, especially if their wingbacks come forward,” he said. “We’re not doubt going to try and expose that space.
“(Defensively) I think it’s very important that we’re physical in the game, that we apply a lot of pressure to them, and that we deny space and the ability to let Quintero get on the ball. As long as we are prepared to the fullest of our capabilities, which I think we will be, then I’m looking forward to getting the three points in this game.”
MNUFC are 6-3-1 at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium this year.
If there’s any time for Juan Agudelo to strike, the time is now.
Coming off Saturday’s impressive 86-minute performance by the former New York Red Bull Academy player, his confidence is in the rumbling stages. His play on the ball was fantastic for the second straight week. All he needs is to put the ball in the net to send it soaring into the stratosphere.
“We were really pleased with his performance,” Friedel said. “It’s down to him to recover, train well, and we’ll see what the starting XI will be for Wednesday.
When we arrived for media availability, Wilfried Zahibo and Claude Dielna -- both of whom are originally from France -- were seated on the benches off to the side. We sent our World Cup congratulations their way; both greeted it with broad smiles.
There was no transfer news in or out to report as of 4:30 p.m. Monday.
CORNER KICKS: Revs president Brian Bilello appeared on Boston25’s Sunday night sports show to talk World Cup and briefly touched on the Revolution at the tail end of his segment... Revs rookie Mark Segbers had a secondary assist for Orange County SC on Saturday night, as OCSC beat San Antonio FC, 3-nil... How the mighty have fallen: former Rev defensive midfielder Jermaine Jones (Aug. '14-Mar. '16) started over the weekend for the Ventura County Fusion -- of the PDL... Revs Academy players Trevor Burns (son of Revs general manager Michael Burns) and Nicolas Firmino are expected to join the club on this two-match road trip... WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche tweeted out Monday morning that the GPS Massachusetts Elite Boys U16 team from Waltham captured the US Club Soccer Boys ENPL National title in Aurora, Colorado over the weekend. GPS beat a squad from Pennsylvania on Saturday, and were one of 16 squads from across the country taking part. Amazing achievement, lads.