Local soccer fans probably deserved better, while those antagonists who insist on calling the sport boring have been given plenty of ammunition in New England over the last four years.
The Revolution, who haven’t scored 40 goals in a season since 2008, have been lackluster.
Their fans, however, keep showing their support, with average attendance at Gillette Stadium on the rise each of the past three seasons. In 2012, the Revolution drew more than 14,000 spectators per game for the first time since 2008.
And with the home opener Saturday at 4 p.m. against Sporting Kansas City, the Revolution continue their quest to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009, possibly breaking the 40-goal barrier in the process.
There are new faces all over the pitch, with a bolstered attack that includes Jerry Bengtson, the lethal striker who had 13 goals in 26 starts for the Honduras national team after appearing in 13 games for the Revolution last season.
Bengtson has been in top form through New England’s first two games, scoring the goal in a 1-0 win over Chicago to open the schedule March 9, then creating several chances in a 1-0 loss to Philadelphia last Saturday.
With Bengtson slotted as the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation, and a talented midfield behind him, the Revolution have the potential for a potent attack. But with Honduras back in action for World Cup qualifying matches, the 25-year-old Bengtson will not play against Sporting KC.
There is depth, however. After undergoing an overhaul two offseasons ago, the Revolution kept the majority of their core, with some additions.
The Revolution have a more offensive midfield this season, with the creative duo of Lee Nguyen and Juan Toja generating frequent chances and keeping a faster pace, pushing possession forward.
Kalifa Cisse, a French midfielder with experience in the English Premier League, is a nice addition, though he’s listed as questionable for Saturday’s game with right groin tightness.
In Cisse’s place could be Andy Dorman, in his second stint with the Revolution, who spent the last five seasons in Europe. Diego Fagundez, the 18-year-old who recently signed a two-year contract extension, could see additional playing time.
The defense, which includes first overall pick Andrew Farrell and Portuguese center back Jose Goncalves, is talented enough to help the Revolution pick up 3 points.
Sporting KC (1-1-1) is expected to be a contender for the MLS Cup, which the Revolution have yet to win in the league’s 18-year history.