By Melissa Turtinen
Back in March the New England Revolution confirmed that they would be playing a friendly against Manchester United on July 13, but what were they thinking?
Man United is a world powerhouse when it comes to soccer. They have won 19 Premier League championships, have the Premier League Player of the Year with Nemanja Vidi? and skilled striker Wayne Rooney among an array of other worldly talents. The match was already destined to be a struggle for any MLS team, but now with recent hardships facing the Revs in league play, they’re likely to not only lose but to be embarrassed.
The Revolution is the underdog – way under – in this match. They are sitting last in the Eastern Conference (3-8-7, 16 pts.) and haven’t won a game since their 1-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on May 1 – essentially donning them one of the worst teams in the league. While Manchester United had a different previous season, finishing atop the Premier League, winning the title going 23-4-11 on the season and reaching the Champions League final, but losing to Barcelona, 3-1.
Manchester will likely put tons of pressure on the Revs, both offensively and defensively, which will make it more difficult for New England to maintain, or even gain, possession. The Revs struggled endlessly to hold the ball against a 10-man Real Salt Lake side this Independence Day.
New England has continuously struggled with controlling the ball and most of all scoring goals, the Revs weak offensive efforts have only led to 16 goals thus far.
On Wednesday the Revs will likely face much of Man U’s reserve team, but that doesn’t mean it will be any easier for the MLS side. The reserve team has won the Premiere Reserve League championship four times (since its inception in 1999), most recently in 2010. These players are the ones gearing up to play on one of the best teams in the world – making it a not-so-easy game for arguably one of the worst teams in the MLS as of late.
Man U will travel to the US to play five friendlies, the first at Gillette Stadium against the Revolution. The schedule continues on July 20 vs. Seattle Sounders, July 23 vs. Chicago Fire, July 27 vs. the MLS All-Star team in New Jersey before finishing its tour with a July 30 game vs. Barcelona in Washington DC.
Manchester United traveling roster for U.S.A. tour
Melissa Turtinen is a contributing writer for The Soccer Guys.