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Posts Tagged ‘New England Revolution vs SL Benfica’

With Ivan Gvozdenovic, Jason Griffiths, and Jean-Baptiste Fritzson currently on trial with a fatigued Revolution club, it seems as though head coach Steve Nicol will attempt to get the trio some game time in tomorrow night’s exhibition against Portugal’s SL Benfica.  He said today, courtesy of Revolutionsoccer.net:

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The Revolution will return to training Tuesday, the day before its anticipated international friendly against SL Benfica.  Though the match will have no effect on New England’s 2010 MLS campaign, you have to think a win would be a big confidence boost for the club, currently mired in a 7 game winless streak (0-5-2 since April 10).  It should also be a treat for the Gillette faithful, many of whom will be coming just to see the 2009-10 Portuguese Liga champions and to get a taste of international soccer.

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It was an unusual week for the Revolution, from Monday’s big-news beginning to the very tense match that closed it out.  Let’s run through it real quick, story by story.

The Revs’ tumultuous week got started almost immediately following the club’s 2-1 loss to the Colorado Rapids last Saturday night.  Before lunchtime on Monday, it was announced that captain Shalrie Joseph was taking an indefinite leave of absence from the club.  Speculation ran rampant immediately as reasons for the leave were not — and of yet, have not — been announced, but very early Wednesday morning, Frank Dell’Apa reported for Boston.com that the midfielder had left to take part in MLS’s substance abuse and behavioral health program.  We still have no further information and the club has not commented on this report, but Joseph’s teammates have acknowledged that he has problems to deal with, essentially verifying a very respected journalist’s report.

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With the 2010 MLS season’s starting weeks having come and gone, the New England Revolution prepare for a very challenging month of May wherein they will play 8 games over a period of 29 days.

So far this season, the club’s five games have been separated by a week a piece, with each occurring on Saturday night.  This month, the separation will be cut in half as the Revs take to the pitch once every 3.63 days.

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Updating news from earlier this week, the Revs will indeed host Portugal’s SL Benfica at Gillette Stadium in exhibition play on May 19.

The match’s merits can and will be debated, but it will certainly draw a crowd.

The club is excited to bring one of Europe’s powerhouses into town:

“We’re very pleased to bring a European power like Benfica to Gillette Stadium,” Revolution Vice President of Business Development Craig Tornberg said. “Benfica is one of the most popular clubs in the world – with a passionate and substantial following in the Northeast region – and we anticipate a fantastic match against the Revolution.”

Read the full release here.

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