FOXBOROUGH, Mass — Rio Tinto Stadium has served as New England's house of horrors since it opened in October 2008.
The raw statistics present a grisly dose of reality: in the Revs' two trips to Sandy, Utah, they have conceded 11 goals without mustering any of their own.
Painful memories linger from the two negative results — a 6-0 drubbing on Apr. 25, 2009 and a 5-0 setback on July 2, 2010 — as New England prepare for a second consecutive Independence Day weekend visit to Utah (Monday, 8:30 pm ET; ESPN, ESPN Deportes).
“You certainly remember,” Revolution coach Steve Nicol told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. “What it should do — if you're any sort of professional — is it should motivate you to make sure it doesn't happen again.”
Motivation will help, but remedial action could prove far more difficult to enact in the league's toughest road venue. RSL saw their league-record 29-match unbeaten run at home in MLS play snapped by Seattle on May 28, but they still sport a formidable 5-1-2 record at the venue this season. Nicol said he believes several factors contribute to RSL's home dominance.
“It's because they're a good team, basically,” Nicol said. “They keep the ball well. The conditions there — with the altitude, the crowd behind them and the fact that they have a good team — [make] it tough to go there and get results.”
Despite their unfortunate track record at Rio Tinto Stadium, the Revs must prepare to reverse their previous form at the venue in order to secure retribution for the Claret-and-Cobalt's 2-0 victory at Gillette Stadium back in April and wash away those haunting memories of years past.
“You have to try to put it behind you and concentrate on the next one,” Revolution midfielder Shalrie Joseph said. “We definitely know in the back of our mind that we got a spanking from them. We have to come out there and be ready to get those three points. It's important that we go out there and give it our all.”