FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – In the moments after Wednesday's 2-1 home victory over Colorado, New England coach Jay Heaps did what any coach with a trip to Utah planned for the next day would do.
He evaluated the state of his squad ahead and immediately started to prepare for Saturday's test against Real Salt Lake (9 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
“We’re doing assessments right now on some of the other players who came off,” Heaps told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday night. “We’ve just got to make sure we’re in tomorrow and see what we’re doing – and we leave tomorrow, so there isn’t much time.”
Even with a session of regeneration work completed on Thursday morning and most of his regulars available for selection, Heaps could still freshen up his starting XI ahead of his side's third match in eight days. Kevin Alston (illness) and Kelyn Rowe (rested against the Rapids) should feature in the squad at Rio Tinto Stadium, but Ryan Guy (calf) remains unlikely to play against the Claret-and-Cobalt after missing out again in midweek.
Those recuperative efforts may prove crucial as the Revs plot to end a four-match winless streak against RSL. Previous Revolution sides have struggled to cope with RSL's possession-oriented approach, but this particular group may find itself more suited to the task if it can obtain the ball more frequently than it did on Wednesday night (41 percent on the night, 34.1 percent during the second half).
Even if they produced an improved overall performance in the wake of Wednesday's effective and gritty display, the Revs will have to dig deep in order to nick a point or three from a RSL outfit captain Shalrie Joseph ranks among the best in the league.
“It’s going to be a huge game, playing a game on the road against one of the best teams in the league,” Joseph told reporters after the match. “We just have to be ready to play. We can’t be thinking about this win tonight. We have to take the win and smile about it, then go play one of the best teams in the league.”