FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution coach Jay Heaps revealed his excitement for the season-opening trip to San Jose when he set out the itinerary for the excursion.
Instead of traveling on Thursday or Friday, Heaps and the Revs squad – minus the injured Zak Boggs and Sainey Nyassi, the suspended Chris Tierney, and the yet-to-arrive José Moreno – shipped out to the West Coast on Wednesday afternoon to prepare for Saturday night's affair.
“We want to get to where we [need to be] so we can get our legs rested,” Heaps told MLSsoccer.com before the team departed. “It's really important that we go into this game giving the players every opportunity to be adjusted from a body standpoint.”
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The impetus behind the early departure stems from Heaps's desire to allow his players to settle into their temporary surroundings. That modest dose of familiarity will permit the Revs to take stock of the task ahead of them against the Earthquakes.
“We like the fact that we're going to get on the field where we are going to be playing, get an understanding of what the dimensions are and what the field is going to be like,” Heaps said.
Other practical concerns also drove the move. While this particular New England winter hasn't dumped the usual amount of snow on the region, the Revolution players have spent most of their time indoors at the Dana-Farber Field House when they trained in Foxborough.
Two trips to Arizona provided plenty of outdoor time to work on general tactical issues, but those spells won't prove particularly helpful as the Revs install their specific game plan for the weekend. By flying out a day early, the Revs compensated for any potential meteorological interruptions to their travel plans and guaranteed they would not do most of their plotting on a smaller pitch.
“You get some good training in here, but, at the same time, you want to facilitate the game,” Heaps said. “Any time you're going to be on a big field, you have to do it.”
After landing in Northern California on Wednesday night, the Revs are scheduled to train on Thursday and Friday afternoon at the Nutrilite Training Facility in San Jose.