1. So far New England has four points from five games. Prior to the season starting a number of writers pegged the Revs as a top team to watch. What has gone wrong so far for this team? Has anything gone right?
As was feared by many in the offseason, the Revs probably didn't do quite enough in the transfer market to keep pace with other teams. Teal Bunbury was a welcome addition, but he doesn't have the same skillset in Heaps' lineup that Juan Agudelo had. So, I guess you could say the "winning formula" from 2013 is a little off. That's resulted in only a single goal for the Revs (not counting San Jose's own goal from a couple weeks ago). But Heaps' squad always seems to come out of the gate a little gun-shy, so no one's rushing to their respective panic rooms just yet. What's gone right? Well, they resolved Jose Goncalves' contract issues. So, that's a big step in the right direction for us.
2. Teal Bunbury had yet to score a goal or an assist for the Revs this season. What will it take for him to start scoring for the team?
Teal is one of 4 or 5 strikers on this Revolution squad who struggles as a lone-forward. He, just like Charlie Davies, Jerry Bengtson, and Patrick Mullins (to name a few), would most likely benefit from a two-striker system rather than Heaps' preferred 4-1-4-1. I personally think that a tactical switch and a striking partner for Teal would get the goals flowing. Either that, or he just needs more time to get used to his role.
3. Jay Heaps is suspended for this game after being sent off in the 89th minutes of the Revs game against DC United. Assistant coach Tom Soehn will be running things in his place. How will this impact the team on the field? Do you expect to see a change in what sort of substitutions may be brought on during the game?
I don't think there will be much of a change, to be honest. But my hope is that Soehn will bring on subs sooner in the second half, especially if the Revs are chasing the game. As I wrote yesterday (link: http://bit.ly/1nbZtVV), Heaps has been waiting until the 83rd minute to bring on a 2nd substitute (an attacker) during games where the Revs needed a goal. So, I'm hoping that Soehn will be willing to break that pattern.
4. The Dynamo are without David Horst (red card suspension) this weekend and are very thin at the CB position and may have a rookie starting at CB this weekend. How will the Revs be able to exploit this weakness?
The Revs desperately need to find their rhythm in the final third, so they'll take all the help they can get. My assumption is that Cochran will get the nod to start next to Taylor, and I'm hoping the rookie will lose track of one of our wingers (Diego Fagundez or Saer Sene) pinching in at some point leading to a New England goal. I can't say I'm overly confident that they'll be able to take advantage though.
5. Projected starting XI and scoreline prediction
(4-1-4-1 Left to Right)Knighton | Tierney - Goncalves - Soares - Farrrell | Dorman | Fagundez - Nguyen - Kobayashi - Sene | Imbongo
I'll say 1-1 final scoreline. Goals by Fagundez and Barnes.
Head over to The Bent Musket for my answers to their burning questions.