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Three (more) Questions about New England Revolution with The Bent Musket: 2017 Desert Diamond Cup edition

The Bent Musket's Jake Catanese is back to catch up with the Revs before they dive into a Desert Diamond Cup game against RBNY.

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Red Bulls are meeting the New England Revolution for the second time this preseason, which means Once A Metro gets to bug The Bent Musket's Jake Catanese with questions for the second time inside a month.

Once A Metro: Hello again. Since we last met the Revs, they have trounced Sporting KC. Preseason or not, 6-2 is an eye-catching result. Just what happens when two teams 
collide in training? Or is there something cooking in Jay Heaps' kitchen we should be watching?


Jake Catanese: Well, let's reel that result in for a little bit. Both the Revs and SKC started the game with their reserves before the Revs subbed on a lot of starters at halftime and SKC stayed with their same lineup. That meant for about thirty minutes and four goals, the fresh New England starters were going up against tired SKC bench guys. That being said, for a team that struggled to score last year, I will happily take any goals in preseason. 

Juan Agudelo and Kei Kamara have had solid preseasons and have scored a ton but with Juan at USMNT camp they haven't exactly been scoring together on the field. The questions about the Revs were never about the offense, they create as many chances as any team in MLS and last year, sadly, hit every part of the woodwork as well. If the offense is humming like it is right now, a fast start would do wonders for New England who have notoriously struggled out of the gate in March.

OaM: What should we expect from the Revs in this game? Something close to full strength, or is there some other objective that will take priority over getting the first team a work out?

I would expect a full-strength lineup but the Revs are working a few players up to full fitness. DP holding midfielder Xavier Kouassi is one year removed from a torn ACL and he might be a player that only goes 45-60 minutes as the team have been very cautious with him. Centerback Benjamin Angoua was carrying a knock he picked up in France before he signed with the team but he and likely defensive partner Antonion Delamea will be looking to play the majority of the game as they build fitness and chemisty.

Aside from those three players and how much time they get, it should be a similar Revs lineup to what we see opening day in Colorado. Agudelo and Kamara up top, Lee Nguyen at the CAM and some combination of Scott Caldwell, Diego Fagundez and Kelyn Rowe in the middle as shuttling center mids in the Revs diamond setup. 

OaM: RBNY's last run-in with New England put Alex Muyl in a face mask. How can our players keep themselves safe against the Revolution? Also, why is Juan Agudelo in a face mask too?

Juan Agudelo suffered a facial fracture while with the USMNT against Jamaica and had surgery to repair it two weeks ago. He hasn't missed any time but yes, he is wearing the Schnozzaro Mask or whatever Bill Simmons calls it.

And one year, obviously not this one, there will be a RBNY-NE series where it might seem like our two teams aren't actively trying to kill each other. Jeremy Sabaly, a trialist defender who is no longer in camp, I believe was the culprit against Muyl and might've received a red card for his troubles. But we have a history of these don't we? Kelyn Rowe on Ryan Meara, Thierry Henry on Andrew Farrell, Jermaine Jones on Dax McCarty...did I leave any out? Whatever, CONCACAF rules, if there's blood there might be a foul. Hopefully in the last preseason contest the only pain the Revs inflict on RBNY II will be on the scoreboard.

Thanks, Jake. Follow Jake Catanese on Twitter. And find his work and OaM's thoughts on RBNY over at The Bent Musket.