Home opener with Toronto FC on deck

Posted on 09 April 2010 by Liam O'Connell

Kenny Mansally ©ASN

On Saturday, April 10th, the New England Revolution kick off their home opener, hosting Toronto FC at Gillette Stadium.  The Revs will be looking to build on the momentum gained from their first victory of the season last weekend away at D.C. United.

Many of the Revolution players will also be looking to build on personal success and experience from the past two road games.  Kenny Mansally in particular will try to emulate the performance he put in last week.  The young Gambian came on as a second half sub and in a matter of minutes made his presence known.  He went on to score the two deciding goals of the match – the second a potential goal of the year candidate – and earn an MLS Player of the Week award.

This will mark the eighth all-time regular season meeting between the Revolution and TFC, as Toronto entered Major League Soccer as an expansion team in 2007. The Revs hold a 3-1-3 advantage in the series, but are 1-1-2 against TFC since its inaugural season. New England has never lost to Toronto at Gillette Stadium, posting a 3-0-1 record in TFC’s visits Foxborough.

The Revolution will be hoping many of their key players will continue on their road to recovery from some inkling injuries that have kept them off of the field for the 2010 season so far.  Luckily, both Darrius Barnes and Shalrie Joseph look to be close to full strength, with the two returning to training at the end of this week.

During the offseason, the Revs brought in a number of trialists, hoping to find someone who can add a spark to the team’s offensive efforts.  None impressed more than Marco Perovic. The 26-year old Serbian was signed in late March, and with the completion of all the right paperwork, has finally arrived in Foxborough.  The Revolution will be looking for him to make an immediate impact with no defined goal scorer having stepped up since Taylor Twellman’s long-term injury that has kept him out of action since late 2008.

This game versus Toronto has one very intriguing story line in particular.  The victory of D.C. last weekend was head coach Steve Nicol’s 99th win of his career.  This will make him only the third coach in MLS to reach this milestone, with only Sigi Schmid and Bob Bradley ahead of him.  It’s only fitting that Nicol has the chance to reach this great milestone at Gillette Stadium, in front of the home fans who are so appreciative of the success he has brought their team.

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