FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – To the untrained eye, Saturday night’s meeting between the New England Revolution and Montreal Impact seems like a classic mismatch.
The first-place Revs will arrive at Stade Saputo carrying a seven-game unbeaten run (6-0-1), scoring an astonishing 19 goals during that stretch. The last-place Impact, meanwhile, has registered just one win this season while scoring a league-low nine goals through 11 matches.
Of course, Major League Soccer is never quite that simple.
Montreal boasts many of the same pieces which helped guide the Canadian club to its first-ever playoff appearance last season, including 20-goal scorer Marco Di Vaio and primary setup men Justin Mapp and Felipe Martins. It’s that playoff-caliber side which the Revs are preparing to face on Saturday night.
“Montreal, they’re a good team. It’s the same team that put together a really solid run last year,” said Chris Tierney. “They’ve got plenty of dangerous players and we’re going to have to go to their place, which is a tough place to play.”
Visiting the Impact is always a stern test, regardless of the circumstances, but Montreal’s recent struggles add a different element to the equation. Hungry – perhaps even desperate – for a win to celebrate in front of the home fans, Montreal should have no trouble finding extra motivation on Saturday night.
“It’s going to be a tough game because they are last in the Eastern Conference and they are playing at home,” said Revs captain Jose Goncalves. “Obviously they want to change that and win points and they want to start winning points on Saturday.
“For us, it’s going to be another away game, but we will prepare ourselves like we do every home game and away game. Of course we are going there with a mindset to win the three points.”
The Revs have had plenty of success on their recent travels, going 2-0-1 in their last three road games, while they’ve also picked up wins on their last two visits to Stade Saputo. Both of those victories in Montreal were hard-fought, 1-0 triumphs, and the Revs are prepared for a similar battle this weekend.
“We’re not expecting to go there and win 5-0,” said Tierney. “It’s going to be a tough game for us and we’re going to have to have our best stuff to come out with a result.”