Saturday marks the home opener for the New England Revolution, as they host D.C. United in the first game of the 2011 regular season at Gillette Stadium.
The Revs are coming off a 1-1 draw with the Los Angeles Galaxy on the West Coast, Sunday, and welcomed the season-opening point with open arms.
Seeing D.C. United in town isnt the big news, though. Instead, all eyes will be on New Englands potential return of defenders Kevin Alston and Didier Domi.
Both Alston (hamstring) and Domi (knee) missed Sundays season opener in Los Angeles, but both re-joined the teams full training sessions earlier in the week, and Revolution coach Steve Nicol said that he expects each player to be available for Saturdays match with D.C. United.
Alston and Domi have each been ailing since the preseason, with Alston straining his hamstring just 10 minutes into the Revs first preseason game of the year, back in February, and Domi injuring his right knee during the teams preseason trip to Georgia.
Ive been running for a couple of weeks, so I think its just getting back up to speed, said Alston. But its felt good. I still think I have a ways to go, but Im working on it.
I was feeling nothing when I was playing, said Domi. It was just swelling a bit. Its still a bit swollen, but it doesnt hurt.
The Revs will need both back in the lineup as soon as possible, because the D.C. United enter Saturdays game at Gillette Stadium coming off a second-half surge that saw three goals in the final 45 minutes to give the United a win over the Columbus Crew.
Revolution fans will notice some changes at Gillette Stadium when they show up on Saturday. The venues seating arrangement has changed for 2011, as there will be a new seating configuration that will shorten the size of the sections by 10-15 rows, opening up the seats all around the bowl.
In the past, one entire side of the field was blocked off with a tarp, but that will no longer be the case, beginning with the teams first home game of the season on Saturday.
Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on hisstreaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.