FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Even carefully laid preseason plans cannot withstand the impending threat of a blizzard.
Instead of departing from Boston on Saturday to prepare for the Desert Diamond Cup in Tucson, Ariz., the New England Revolution must now wait until Monday to embark on the second trip of their preseason slate.
“You can't control everything,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday. “You have to control the things you can control. We had to switch around our flight to get out there. Mother Nature has a lot of control over what we do, so we're going to deal with it.”
Cautionary reports earlier in the week placed this potential itinerary change on the radar. Forecasters in the Boston area predicted the forthcoming storm could dump one to two feet of snow on the region on Friday and Saturday and reinforced those concerns as the week progressed.
The potential precipitation forced the Revs to start evaluating alternatives to their travel plans in the middle of the week. Several proposed solutions – including shipping players out in smaller groups as soon as Thursday night – came and went without producing a palatable solution.
“Unfortunately, there were no options – as either a large group or a couple of small groups – to get out today or tomorrow,” Revolution general manager Michael Burns said on Thursday. “If we decided to roll the dice and go out on Saturday and it got canceled, there was a chance that some of guys wouldn't have gotten out there until Thursday. We just couldn't do it, especially with the game on Wednesday. It made the decision easy for us.”
In the end, the Revs opted to book the entire travel party – a group of more than 40 people – onto one flight on Monday afternoon to sidestep any potential concerns.
“While it's not ideal and the coaches and the players would like a couple of extra days outdoors, we felt it was better to be safe than sorry,” Burns said.
The revised schedule forced the Revs to add training sessions on Friday and Monday, Feb. 11, to compensate for the changes, but the shift is not expected to influence the preparations ahead of the Desert Diamond Cup opener against Seattle on Feb. 13.