After a long rest, Jay Heaps was able to take stock of a nearly full-strength roster when picking his starting eleven for the New England Revolution's match against D.C. United on Saturday night. With Chris Tierney and Saer Sene the only first-choice contributors injured, he elected to leave the back four that shut out Columbus and Philadelphia unchanged, along with much of the rest of the squad.
Up top, Diego Fagundez earned another start at striker, this time pairing up with Jerry Bengtson, who comes fresh off of two goals in two games for Honduras. Fagundez looked dangerous and was highly effective alongside Dimitry Imbongo against Columbus, although Imbongo got the score in that game. The Congolese-born striker will start the match on the bench, likely due to a desire to keep the big-little size-speed combination up front rather than matching up two bigger strikers with each other.
In midfield, Benny Feilhaber is once again relegated to the bench as Heaps apparently prefers the central midfield pairing of Clyde Simms and Ryan Guy. Speculation about Feilhaber's future in Foxboro is rampant after this run without getting a start.
Notably, Juan Toja is on the bench for New England, and conventional wisdom seems to indicate that he is in line for his first appearance with the Revolution. Toja last played in MLS in 2008, when he suited up for Dallas.
Revolution: Matt Reis; Kevin Alston, Darrius Barnes, Stephen McCarthy, Florian Lechner; Lee Nguyen, Simms, Guy, Kelyn Rowe; Fagundez, Bengtson
Bench: Shuttleworth, Soares, Tierney, Toja, Feilhaber, Cardenas, Imbongo
United: Bill Hamid; Chris Korb, Dejan Jakovic, Brandon McDonald, Andy Najar; Chris Pontius, Perry Kitchen, Branko Boskovic, Nick DeLeon; Maicon Santos, Lionard Pajoy
Bench: Willis, Russell, Salihi, Augusto, Dudar, Neal, Tan