MTL_AT_Preview

MLS Regular Season | Match #29
New England Revolution at CF Montréal
Wednesday, September 29 | 7:30 p.m. ET
Stade Saputo | Montréal, Québec, Canada

Watch: TV38, myRITV
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub (English), WBIX 1260 Nossa Radio (Portuguese)
Revolution Pregame Live (3 p.m. ET)
- Facebook, YouTube, revolutionsoccer.net

CURRENT FORM

New England Revolution
1st in Eastern Conference (19-4-5, 62 pts.)
Last Result | 2-1 win vs. Orlando City SC

The Revs tightened their grip on the Supporters’ Shield and guaranteed themselves at least one home playoff game with Saturday night’s 2-1 win over Orlando City SC in front of a season-high crowd of 23,506 at Gillette Stadium. Adam Buksa scored his 12th goal of the season to tie Gustavo Bou for the team lead and Matt Turner stopped a late penalty kick from Nani – again – to secure three more points for the Revolution.

New England’s lead in the Shield race is now 14 points, while they hold a 17-point edge over second-place Nashville SC in the Eastern Conference. Now 12-1-2 in their last 15 games, the Revs have already set club records for wins (19) and points (62) with still six games left in the regular season, and the MLS records for wins (24) and points (72) remain very much within reach.

CF Montréal
7th in Eastern Conference (10-9-7, 37 pts.)
Last Result | 2-1 loss at Columbus Crew

CF Montréal are right in the thick of a scrap for playoff places in the Eastern Conference, as Wilfried Nancy’s group finished the weekend holding tight to the seventh and final postseason berth, just one point ahead of eighth-place Atlanta United. The Canadian side has sights set on a second consecutive playoff appearance, having been eliminated by New England in the Play-In Round last year.

Montréal had been one of the league’s in-form sides before a 2-1 loss to the Columbus Crew this past Saturday, going 4-1-2 in their previous seven games to put themselves firmly in the playoff mix. They’ve been particularly good since returning to Stade Saputo in mid-July, going 4-1-1 back on home soil.

KEY PLAYERS

Revolution forward Gustavo Bou
While he hasn’t hit the back of the net in his past seven appearances, Gustavo Bou has picked up the slack as a playmaker in the past week, registering assists in back-to-back wins over Chicago and Orlando. The Argentine striker now has six assists in 2021, more than he had in 2019 and 2020 combined (5).

Still tied for the Revolution lead in goals (12), Bou will be eager to get back on the scoresheet as the Revs prepare for the postseason. He could have an opportunity on Wednesday, as Bou scored both goals in the Revolution’s 2-1 win over Montréal back on July 25 at Gillette Stadium.

CF Montréal midfielder Djordje Mihailovic
A balanced attack has been key for Montréal, which features 14 different goal scorers, including 10 players with multiple goals on the season. Mason Toye (7) and Romell Quioto (6) have led the way, but the goals have come from everywhere throughout the course of the campaign.

The primary playmaker, however, has been Djordje Mihailovic. The 22-year-old American has racked up a career-best 11 assists, tying him for second in MLS behind Revolution maestro Carles Gil (16). Five of those assists have come in Montréal’s last five games, including a pair of multiple-assist games. Mihailovic – in his first year with Montréal after spending four seasons with Chicago – has also chipped in with a career-high four goals.

STATUS REPORT

Revolution
Wednesday night’s visit to Stade Saputo will be the Revolution’s fourth game in a span of 12 days, but only Matt Turner and Henry Kessler have started each of the first three matches as Bruce Arena has heavily rotated his squad to keep legs fresh. Following the midweek road trip, the Revs won’t play again until October 16.

Emmanuel Boateng has missed the last three games with an injury, and is once again listed as questionable alongside Jon Bell, Gustavo Bou, Carles Gil, Edward Kizza, and Maciel.

CF Montréal
Ahmed Hamdi will be unavailable for Wednesday night’s clash with the Revs, as the Montréal midfielder suffered a minor injury in a recent Canadian Championship game against Halifax and will miss this week’s action. Hamdi has appeared in 19 games for Montréal this season, registering a pair of goals.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

New England Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena
“My assessment of the team: Obviously, we're in a good position in the conference standings. I think we need to get better over the next six weeks before the playoffs start, so that's very important. On the second part of your question, no, I think you can use that time to get rested and also work on some things that are important for your team. I think the break in November will be challenging for all the teams, but this one I think we can play through, and I do see most of the league is playing through this international window and we are not. But I think it comes at a good time for us.”

New England Revolution midfielder Matt Polster
“For us, we need to keep raising our level and pushing ourselves and wanting to get three points, but also playing well and finishing games off in the right way. I think there’s certain moments when we could make it a little easier on ourselves towards the end of matches – you know, being up an extra goal 3-1 or at times maybe even 4-1. It gets a little chaotic at the end and nervy at times, but the group has always stepped up in those moments. Just like Orlando, they send a bunch of numbers forward on a corner kick and we clear it and Matt [Turner] comes out and grabs the ball and we win. I think we can play better, but it’s important to just win games and that’s what matters the most.”