New England is such a nice city - wait, it isn't a city? That might explain the name of the Revolution blog we found www.sixstatesoneblog.wordpress.com . Adam and I exchanged an email about the biggest three questions I think every Sounders fan should know about the New England Revolution.
Dave Clark: New England has been singularly defined by Sharlie Joseph for so long, and though every team knows this the Revs still finish with a decent record and Joseph still gets his goals and assists. How?
Adam Vaccaro: It's simple: he's an absolute force. Joseph isn't just the type of guy that you can build a team around -- he's the type of guy you do build a team around. He's strong, quick, smart, powerful, he can pass, he can finish, players can't take him off the ball, and he can take players right off of it. Joseph, to me, is a top 5 player in the league. Without him, New England is not a very strong club. With him, I doubt they'll ever be too far removed from competing. What's more is that he is still dominating MLS play after 30 and without several of the teammates with whom for so long he comprised a strong nucleus on a perennial contender. The basis for your question is totally legitimate and bears asking in any situation wherein one player has for so long been a team's centerpiece, but sometimes a player is just too good for it not to matter. Against MLS competition, Shalrie Joseph is one of those players.
DC: Keeper has been a strength for the Revs in the past but they started the season losing their back-up to Philly, having their starter go down for the first third of the season, and then Burpo incident. Now they have Shuttleworth (not Ray Allen from Who's Got Game) in goal, how can a team deal with so much transition at keeper?
AV: I don't know that a team can survive such circumstances. I also don't know that New England is necessarily going to be put in that position for very long. The Sounders are dangerous, for sure, but given their scoring woes this season, this is a pretty sweet spot for Shuttleworth. The Revolution, though victims of circumstance, are trying to steal one here with their third string goalie. After that and the World Cup break, the very reason for the club's sustained success at the position (Reis) is extremely likely to be returning and with him so too will return a stability that far outdates Burpo. We'll never know for sure, but I think Reis probably would have gotten his spot back even if Burpo had continued to succeed in his stead. So this is just a one game bump in the road. It's not ideal, but if the Revs can escape with a win and then plant Reis in for the foreseeable future, I think they'll be pretty happy with that.
DC: How has the state of Twellman effected Revs fans and the team?
AV: I think Revs fans were very, very cautious regarding Twellman this season, and with good reason. From where I'm sitting, it was better to expect that he would not partake in 2010 than to think he would. The news has been so, so quiet, frustratingly so at times, that Taylor's probably become more of a figurehead for the club, at least during this campaign. Of course the fans and the team want him back; he's a legitimate superstar who's capable of scoring almost at will. This year's Revolution team feels like it was constructed without Twellman even in mind -- which, by the way, means that expectations for the club's success were lowered, but it also means that his continued absence can't really hurt. Now, his return would be very well celebrated and would probably seriously rock the general perception of the 2010 squad. But for now, it seems like most are not even willing to entertain the notion.
Six States, One Blog.