By CBSBoston.com Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — The New England Revolution return to the pitch Saturday evening, bringing some championship aspirations with them into their season-opener against the Fire FC in Chicago.

The Revs will be looking to build off their impressive finish to close the 2020 season, which saw them make it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. The club has all the confidence in the world that they can compete for an MLS Cup in 2021, and they’ll do so on a new television home to boot, with all Revolution games set to air on either WBZ-TV or TV38 this season.

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Saturday night will mark the 85th overall meeting between the MLS rivals, with Chicago holding a 27-23-14 overall edge and a 17-6-9 record in the Windy City.

The Revs had very few issues fanning the flames last season, going unbeaten in their two matchups with Chicago. The two played to a 1-1 draw at Gillette Stadium in March ahead of the season pause, and then New England put out the Fire with a 2-1 win at Soldier Field in September.

Who Is Hot

Well, it’s the first game of the year, so really, no one is “hot” at the moment. But here’s who we think will be “hot” when the season gets underway.

Teal Bunbury: He earned the Golden Boot for the Revs last year, leading the club with eight goals in 22 games. He had a knack for scoring on the road, leading all MLS players with six away goals during the regular season.

Two of those road goals came on Sept. 6 in a 2-1 win over the Fire in Chicago. Bunbury scored just 2:38 into the match, and then kicked in the game-winner in the 54th minute on a right-footed boot from long-range. It was New England’s first brace (a multi-goal game) of the season.

Gustavo Bou: It seels like Bou is just getting warmed up. He now has a full MLS season under his belt, and boy was it a solid season. He made 14 starts for the Revs last season, appearing in 18 of 23 regular season games, and tallied five goals and a pair of assists. He netted a team-best three goals in the MLS Cup Playoffs, including New England’s game-winner in the Play-In Round. He followed it up with a brace in the East semis.

READ MORE: Revolution Off To Fast Start That Club Was Hoping For

Bou finished his first full MLS season third in the league with 64 shots.

Adam Buksa: He led the squad with 24 shots on goal last season (placing second behind Bou with 59 overall shots) and tallied six goals.

Matt Turner: The goalkeeper was great in net in 2020, finishing second in MLS Goalkeeper of the Year voting. He earned Revolution Team MVP honors after putting up six clean sheets last season.

Other Notes

– This marks the 13th straight year that the Revolution will open their season on the road, and the 25th time in 26 seasons.

– The Revs are 1-6-3 in their last 10 openers. Their lone victory came back in 2013 — 1 -0 win over the Fire in Chicago.

– Saturday will be the fourth time that the two clubs meet for their season opener. They played to a 1-1 draw in 2003 in Chicago, the Fire won 1-0 in Chicago in 2007, and the Revs won the aforementioned season opener in 2013.

How To Watch

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You can catch the match on WBZ-TV with coverage starting at 8:30 p.m.

CBSBoston.com Staff