(Pfft. The UEFA Cup. Like, that tournament is the Independent Spirit Awards of international soccer.)
And, once again, another blog beats me to the funny. Like with power rankings, some sites make "separated at birth" jokes work, even after all this time.
New England has, shall we say, a checkered history in Pizza The Hutt Park. The two teams last met in this venue for the US Open Cup, and New England wrecked my preseason pick of Dallas winning the Cup so I'm going to pick Dallas out of bitterness. There's also the Feeble Revenge Factor - the same one the Revolution benefited from earlier this season against Houston. And while New England looked just fine against New York despite missing pretty much everyone, I think the Red and White Bulls are better than the Red Bulls right now.
Not coincidentally, Duilio Davino is playing above my expectations - in other words, he showed up and his shorts weren't on backwards. If he's actually going to mold the traditionally laughable FC backline into something productive, then life in the West is going to be exponentially more difficult for non-hoopy teams.
The last time New England played on Thursday night, they were blown right out of Bridgeview, so there's that. ("But...that was weeks ago...and the last time they played on a weeknight, they won in Kansas City...this factoid is totally meaningless...have you no pride?....")
In New England's favor, Dallas is this week's "beneficiary" of the "Look at what a great start this great team has gotten off to, they must be great!" attention. Said attention has previously driven Kansas City, New York, Bizarro Chivas, Chicago, Colorado, and New England themselves (first week, after the Houston win) right into a pothole.
If I were running a sports book, I'd...take this game off the board, until I got something better than "Questionable" relating to Toja and Ricchetti. C'est la guerre.
The Open Cup Final last year was a good old track meet/hatchet fight, but the Revolution are missing too many guys, and Steve Nicol isn't a guy who pushes his luck. The Revolution will fight for a tie, and fail. Dallas, 1-0.