FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The impending arrival of Hurricane Irene ensured Thursday morning dawned with plenty of uncertainty for the New England Revolution.
By late afternoon, however, the fate surrounding their scheduled road matchup against the Philadelphia Union on Sunday was known. MLS announced that the Union-Revolution matchup has been postponed until Wednesday, Sept. 7 (8 pm ET).
The track of the storm essentially left all parties involved with little choice but to postpone the game. Once they agreed to shift the match to a new date, the two teams and MLS had to sift through the potential open dates and work with television partners in both markets to set a new date. They reached the decision on a final date after weighing all of those considerations.
“In a perfect world, our preference would have been for Hurricane Irene not to exist, play on Sunday and play the reserve game on Monday,” said Revolution vice president of player personnel Michael Burns. “We'd much rather prefer to play weekend games to weekday games. However, in the big picture, it's probably a smart decision.
“The worst-case scenario for us would have been to get to Philly and not have been able to play the game or have the game delayed.”
The new date gives the Revolution a measure of certainty and safety heading into a weekend filled with inclement weather, but it also forces Revolution soccer operations coordinator Nick Kropelin back to the drawing board to set up new travel plans for the rescheduled match.
After coping with tornadoes in Kansas City during a US Open Cup qualifying match in May and plotting out a path around a hurricane this week, Kropelin finished his wild day by looking forward to his next project.
“Now we just roll over the information we were going to use next weekend to the new dates,” Kropelin said. “That was part of our contingency plan — we knew this could happen. We've been looking at some flights, we've been putting some ideas together, we've been talking to [head coach Steve Nicol] to adjust the training schedule a little bit and we'll let the guys know.
“In the end, the right decision was made and it's for the betterment of the game, the teams, the players, the officials and for everyone involved,” he added.