FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- There's no mistaking the true meaning of a championship, but to Revolution striker Charlie Davies, the title that he and his teammates hope to secure in Sunday's MLS Cup final could reap even bigger rewards.
With Boston's "Big Four" pro sports teams dominating the regional sports media year-round, the Manchester, New Hampshire, native believes that lifting the MLS Cup trophy could finally thrust the oft-overlooked Revolution into the local sports conversation.
"It would mean so much," Davies said. "I feel like it would legitimize soccer in New England, and not only in New England, but in Boston, specifically, because I feel like Boston's a really tough town to break into the mainstream sports."
It may be tough to grab the attention of the average Boston sports fan, to be sure, but one thing that seems to do the trick is winning a championship, which has only bolstered the profiles of each of the Big Four.
Since 2000, the Red Sox, Bruins, Patriots and Celtics have each raised a championship trophy at least once. Together, they've collected a combined eight titles, and with each successive triumph, more eyes are cast in their respective directions.
Of course, if the Revolution do savor the taste of their first championship at StubHub Center, Davies believes it would also lead to a number of tangible benefits for a club that has largely flown under the radar since its inception in 1996.
"Maybe a new stadium, maybe more fans, and obviously more revenue for the club," Davies said. "So it would be an amazing accomplishment to be able to do that."
Discussions of a new home for the Revolution resurfaced last month when the Boston Globe reported that a parcel off I-93 was being floated as a potential location. A subsequent report from the Globe also advised that Kraft Sports Group had approached "at least one company" about naming rights for a possible stadium.
While a new stadium in Boston proper would do wonders to raise the team's profile alongside the Big Four in the long run, Revolution president Brian Bilello still sees the immediate value that a title would bring to the Revolution.
"This town is as tough as any in the country as a sports market," Revolution president Brian Bilello said. "I don't know if there's any town that's even close to Boston over the last decade in terms of the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB [success]. I mean, there are championships all over the place here. So I think to get into that club, you need to have that championship."
Winning it all wouldn't make the Revolution as popular as their counterparts overnight by any means. But to veteran defender Chris Tierney, who hails from Wellesley, Massachusetts, grabbing the headlines for a single day would be a reward in and of itself.
"I think Boston's a great soccer market," Tierney said. "It doesn't always get the credit it fully deserves, but to be in the spotlight even if it is only for one game is really exciting for me as a hometown kid, and as a guy who's been at this club for a long time."
But Davies sees even greater things ahead should he and his teammates triumph over the Galaxy on Sunday. Things that, to a native New Englander, go beyond the scope of taking home a trophy.
"I feel like a championship will finally make people realize 'Wow, we have a good team here, this is a team we should all be supporting and talking about,'" Davies said. "It would mean so much to me to be on the team that finally did it."