So in the midst of all the world cup excitetment the US Open Cup continues, and the Revolution are set to enter this tournament away against the Richmond Kickers (USLPRO), in this fifth round match up. The Revs are entering into this match losing two games straight games. The Revs, and the rest of MLS is on a World Cup break, which gives the team two weeks off until their next league game. This puts the Revs in a perfect situations to pounce on a much weaker USLPRO side. However, Heaps has mentioned that he plans on using a blended line up that will consist of starters and bench players. Many people have argued this as a poor decision by Heaps and Co. By using a blended line Heaps allows many of the starters to benefit from, and enjoy the lengthy break. However, with a younger team fatigue should not be factor for many of the starters. Luckily, despite Kelyn Rowe’s hamstring concerrns, the Revolution has been more or less healthy. Another way to look at this is a match like this can really test this teams depth. With players like Barnes, Alston, Imbongo, and Neumann this team has a great deal of talent that isn’t seeing much playing time. The Revs also benefit from a superb back up keeper in Brad Knighton, who many argue should be the full time starter. In a perfect world the Revs will easily beat the Kickers, with this “blended” lineup. However, if the Revs make it to the sixth round of the USOC they would face the winner of the Rochester Rhinos versus DCU match. DCU who knocked the Revs out last year, and also went on to win the USOC despite s horrid MLS season, would host the Revolution if they were to win.
The Kickers are currently in second place in USLPRO with a 7-1-6 record. The Kickers beat the New York Greek Americans in match where the electricity was more change off of the pitch, as the game was delayed for 3 hours after a heavy rain and lightning storm. While on paper the Kickers are not on the same level as the Revolution, and if you just look at the last matchday of the US Open Cup, you will see that none of these “top of the pyramid” teams are predestined to win. Just ask Chivas USA, Real Salt Lake, and the New York Red Bulls, all of whom were beaten by NASL teams. While the thought of a blended roster may cause alarm for some Revolution supporters, this team does have a solid line up, and has many players sitting on the bench that are waiting for their time to impress on the pitch.