Revs can't look past Chivas USA
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - After a pulsating 3-2 comeback victory against Western Conference leader FC Dallas last Saturday, New England Revolution head coach Steve Nicol is understandably worried that his team could suffer a let down against cellar-dwellers Chivas USA on Friday night.
"If we think that we're going to just turn up and take the three points, we're wrong," said Nicol. "We had a full squad when we played them the last time, and we won it at the death.
"Recently, their results have not been great, but in the last five or six matches, they have been playing better," said Nicol. "They just have not been getting points."
In the first encounter between the two sides on April 30, Clint Dempsey popped up to score the match-winner in the 88th minute from a Marshall Leonard cross. Chivas USA were then under the guidance of former head coach Thomas Rongen and played a defensive style in order to obtain a draw.
"They are not going to play the same way this time around," said Nicol. "They are free to do what they want. They have more confidence in themselves. They need points.
Nicol will deal without the services of U.S. internationals Clint Dempsey, Steve Ralston, and Pat Noonan after naming Noonan and Dempsey in his side for last weekend's encounter. They are part of the U.S. squad that secured a berth in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final to be played on Sunday.
"We're not approaching it differently. No matter who plays, we are in the middle of the season and we need to do the things that we do," Nicol said.
Aside from his national team stars, Nicol has a full squad for Friday's encounter.
"[Ryan] Latham's got a wee little strain in his groin, but it is nothing that he can't play through," said Nicol. "Everyone else is fit and available for selection."
Kyle McCarthy is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.