There’s something about the home opener at Gillette Stadium that brings out the best in the Revolution.
Since 2007, the Revolution haven’t lost a home opener, going 6-0-1, and they’re 8-3-1 since 2002.
After an 0-2 start to the 2014 season with losses to Houston and Philadelphia, captain Chris Tierney and the Revolution are looking to take advantage of a reprieve from the road when they host the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday at 2 p.m.
After losing to the Dynamo, 4-0, in the season opener, the Revolution traveled to Philadelphia, where they lost, 1-0.
“It’s been a rough start for us, and not the results you wanted, but we had two tough games on the road,” Tierney said. “I thought we played better in Philly, so hopefully coming home this weekend with our fans behind us, we can pull out a good result.”
While the Revolution are happy to return home, it’s a brief stay. They’re back on the road for games at San Jose (next Saturday) and D.C. United (April 5), before returning to Gillette April 12 to face Houston.
“When you start on the road, you’re four out of five on the road, you’ve got to take your time at home to try and maximize,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said. “The league’s very difficult and when you start on the road, it’s difficult.”
In the first two games, the Revolution offense has struggled, getting outscored, 5-0, and putting just three shots on net against Philadelphia.
But Tierney, the team’s most veteran player with seven seasons under his belt, preached patience on the offensive side.
“You don’t think too much about it, and we just need to keep playing in our system,” Tierney said. “We know we have enough talented players and the goals will come. Once we get the first one, hopefully we score in bunches. We have faith in our guys to take chances when they’re created.”
One of those players is Diego Fagundez, the Revolution’s 19-year-old midfielder, who led the club with 13 goals last season.
“He’s shown how talented he is, he scored double-digit goals last year, and he’s just a really smart kid,” Tierney said. “He works really hard, trains very hard, and has that natural ability. He’s really going to be a good player.”
Fagundez echoed Tierney’s sentiment about returning to Gillette Stadium and seemed eager to play in front of the home fans.
“We’re going to give a little more energy than when we’re away,” Fagundez said. “When we’re away, we just can’t go 110 miles per hour every second. Once we’re out there, everyone is going to be feeling it and the fans are going to be supporting us. I think that’s what’s going to get us the victories.
“We’re going to do everything to get points at home. That’s what we want.”
On Saturday, the Revolution hope to have back attacking midfielder Kelyn Rowe, who missed last weekend’s game against Philadelphia with hamstring tightness. He sat out the game as a precaution, and was listed as questionable in this week’s game notes, but participated in practice.
The 22-year-old’s return should help spark the offense. Last season, in 33 games, he had eight goals and seven assists.
“I thought it was smart to keep me out, it’s early in the season still,” Rowe said. “I’m hoping to be back this week. Just watching, whether it’ll be from home or on the bench, it’s one of the hardest things to do. You want to be out there every minute.
“Everyone’s excited, myself especially, to be back in it after missing the weekend. Everyone is excited to play at home. It’s the home opener for the year and we need something to turn it around and coming back here, playing at Gillette and under our fans, hopefully it changes.”
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On Friday, the Revolution added goalkeeper Matt Pickens to the roster after claiming him through the waiver draft.
Perkins, 31, has played in 10 MLS seasons, spending the last five with Colorado and starting 116 matches for the Rapids.