The U.S. Open Cup has two purposes in American Soccer. It gives smaller division teams a chance to shine, and for the bigger clubs to earn some spending money. No one ever expects the lower division teams to make it far, and when they do they’re called cupsets. Unfortunately, the Revs found themselves on the wrong side of one on Tuesday.
It’s no secret that whenever MLS clubs play lower division teams they start a weaker lineup. The Revolution were no different, starting what was basically their C team on Tuesday against Louisville City FC. However, the team that took the field was not prepared to play. With lack of a USL affiliate, this was the first game a lot of the players had played since the preseason. The starting lineup used by Brad Freidel featured Zach Herivaux, Brian Wright, Femi, Mark Segbers, and Nick Samoyoa. None of which have started a game for the Revs this season, and only Wright and Herivaux came off the bench.
While there were other MLS teams participating, as of now, the Revs have been the only one to lose in the fourth round to a USL team. 2018 is much different from the Revs’ recent runs, which included a trip to the semi-final last year and a loss in the finals two years ago. The last time the Revs were eliminated in the fourth round was three years ago when they lost to USL side Charlotte Independence.
In all honesty, this could be beneficial to the Revs. A loss means they don’t have to worry about playing an extra game every once in awhile. It allows the team to fully focus on the league and maintain match fitness. While the Revs traveled back home after Tuesday’s loss, they went right back to work for upcoming road games in Chicago and San Jose. This loss will hurt fans because U.S. Open Cup games are always fun to attend.
While Brad Freidel had some choice words for the players who were on the field, it’s up to the players to make sure they come back strong. This is typical for all teams but especially the Revs. A coach says they’ll use something to strengthen the squad, but now the players have to act on it.
The Revs have a challenge on their hands as they go on a road stretch until the end of the month. On Friday afternoon the team will travel to Chicago to play the Fire on Saturday. After that, they will have a Wednesday night game against San Jose. After that, the Revs get two weeks off for the World Cup before returning home. Then they will start the hardest part of their season. Revs will have to take advantage of their home games as they are quickly running out of them. They will also have to rely on their ability to win games on the road. Only time will tell if the Revs are up for the challenge.