The New England Revolution finished the season on fire to move into the playoffs and they continued that on Saturday in the first leg of their Eastern Conference semifinal. They jumped out to a 2-0 lead and it looked like they were unstoppable, but Sporting Kansas City struck right back with a goal to send the tie to the midwest at 2-1. That's still an advantage for the Revs, but hardly the one they envisioned.
If the Revolution's starting XI is any indication, Jay Heaps wasn't shaken at all by the goal his team gave up. He's going with his same lineup, one that has too many attacking players for them to play conservatively in. They may be the surprise team of the season and Heaps may be managing in his first postseason, but New England can't be accused of being scared.
Meanwhile, Sporting are fighting against two years of playoff disappointment. In each of the last two years, KC looked set to win the East only to fall to Houston. Tonight they don't have to worry about the Dynamo, but they do need to deal with the absence of the injured Lawrence Olum. It was thought that would be Paulo Nagamura -- who has only played 120 minutes since July -- or Benny Feilhaber would start in his place, but instead Peter Vermes has opted to start both, with Graham Zusi moving into the front three. That forward line also include Dom Dwyer and C.J. Sapong, a change from last match.