According to a report on Boston.com (Benfica to visit?) the Revolution might be playing host to Benfica on Wed. May 19th. The last time these two teams played against each other I was in 5th grade. Benfica won 2-1. Joao Pinto was their "star". At the time every Benfquista in Massachusetts and around the world worshipped the guy. He was like a god. But things quickly change. Anyways, I was getting off track there. The game drew around 45,000. Not bad for a Revolution game. The other two times Benfica has played here which were more recent was against the Columbian National team, who brought a very old Aspirilla who could barely walk, great player in his day. Columbia won the game 2-1. That night featured a doubleheader with the first game being the Revs playing LA. It was a great game, much better than the friendly that followed. Ted Chronopoulos scored the 2 goals with the Revs winning 2-0. The last time Benfica was here it was once again a doublehearder. The first game was the Revs facing New York. Not a good performance by the Revs, an ok game at best. Cate scored on a penalty for the Revs. The second game was much more entertaining. A very good game between Santa Clara and Benfica. Benfica won 4-2 I believe. At least 2 of the goals should not have counted as the forward, I believe he was a Brazilian that they really overpaid for, controlled the ball with his hand before scoring. Anyways, let me get back to the game at hand that might happen.
I think it would be better to have Benfica come and be a part of a doubleheader. They are going to draw a good crowd. There is a large Portuguese communnitty in New England, much larger than the census would suggest. Oh and by the way, if you haven't figured it out yet, I'm Portuguese. Why do you think I went and saw Benfica play 3 times. By the way, I'm not a Benfquista, in fact, I despise the team and everything it stands for. But hey, that's a subject for another post. The fact is that they are a very well supported club in the Portuguese community. If the game were a doubleheader on a Saturday, the first game could be an MLS game. Lets say they draw 30,000 people who normally don't attend MLS matches. If the game happens to be a good game these same people who are huge soccer fans but not MLS fans might say "hey, these guys can play, maybe I should come here more often and watch these guys". By having Benfica plays the Revs you get a bunch of Benfquistas who are going to go to the game and support Benfica. They're not going to be interested in seeing the Revs play well. They're going to want to see Benfica kill the Revs. Trust me, it will feel like an away game when the Revs play Benfica. I think I was the only person at the stadium that night cheering when Carlos Rocha scored, oh wait my uncle who went with me also cheered.
You might be saying "well Benfica already played here twice as part of a doublehearder. Where was the bump in attendance?" Well the Revs also signed Carlos Semedo, who didn't even know how to walk. I'm not kidding you. The guy looked like he didn't know how to walk. If I had a video of the guy playing for the Revs I'd post it. No words I could type could describe what it was like seeing this guy on the field for the Revs. To make matters worse the Revs hyped him up as a Portuguese international. Problem was he wasn't. In fact nobody who's Portuguese had ever heard of the guy. Most Portuguese people took this as an insult, myself included. Signing such a bad player and then trying to claim that he was on our National team. I still know quite a few people who are pissed about that. If the Revs want to attract the Portuguese community and ensure they keep coming to games they need to sign someone who has credibility. The Semedo signing did a lot of damage. They would have been much better off not signing anyone. I know that there are some Portuguese people who attend games, but the potential is there for that number to be much higher.
There have also been reports that Sporting will be playing at Red Bull Arena. According to abola.pt (Sporting coming to NJ) Sporting has confirmed that they will be playing. I couldn't find any media outlets here in the states that could confirm this. They just said that Sporting might be playing here in June. This is a great choice. The area in which Red Bull arena is situated is full of Sporting fans. There is a large club of Sporting supporters in the area. The game will easily be a sell out. There will also be a good showing of Sporting fans who make the trip from New England to the game.