FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – After picking up 41 of 48 available points from mid-July through late September, the New England Revolution are now in the midst of a 16-day break in play before heading into their final five games of the regular season.
“I think the break is going to be good for us,” said Bruce Arena. “We come back and we have a very difficult month of October to close out the regular season, so I think a little break now is going to be important.”
Having time to rest, recover, and train is an echoed and welcomed sentiment amongst the entire squad, especially before they'll play four games in quick succession from October 16-27.
“It’s a great refresher for the group,” said DeJuan Jones. “There’s a lot of games back-to-back [after the break], and we have another big four games in 11 days so it’s another big stretch coming up. Right now, it’s all about resting and recovering and then setting our minds right for the last part of the season.”
Going 20-4-5 (65 pts.) leading up to the break, New England has earned the recovery time after locking up the No. 1 spot in the East, a first-round bye, and guaranteed homefield advantage through the conference final.
However, the Revs are not focused on success already achieved. Their minds lie only on how they can build towards their next two goals: winning the Supporters' Shield, and advancing in each round of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
“We have a month left [of the regular season],” said Henry Kessler. “We have five games to improve so we’re hoping to do so, but it’s a lot easier when you can just focus on one thing.
“We don’t have to worry about clinching the playoffs or worrying about getting a first-round bye. That’s taken care of, so it’s good to have it done.”
At the top of the table, New England still believes there is always room to improve.
“Right now, we’re just looking to get better each game heading into the playoffs,” said Jones. “We want to have good momentum going forward so we’re looking to win every game possible. We’re preparing the same way and also sharpening things up to get ready for the postseason.”
The Revs' next chance to build momentum is at home on October 16 when they'll host Chicago Fire FC at Gillette Stadium, with television coverage on TV38, myRITV and CoziTV.