Jalil Anibaba vs. Montreal Impact (Colonial, 2019)

MONTREAL – The New England Revolution set a goal for themselves on Saturday, and while they would have liked to take home three points against the Montreal Impact, keeping a clean sheet in their scoreless draw was a big positive takeaway.

“Our number one goal was to keep a clean sheet and we did that,” said goalkeeper Matt Turner. “A couple half chances here and there, for us to take away the three points, but overall I think we’ll walk away with something.”

Part of that "something" is the will and belief that this team can grind out results like they did on Saturday. It’s banding together as a group and setting out to accomplish goals not only for themselves, but also for each other and for their fans. 

“Everybody put a great shift in,” said Teal Bunbury. “We were communicating with each other. If one guy messed up, someone was there to back him up. Montreal’s a great team and they were able to knock the ball around quite a bit, but I think we had good opportunities ourselves. 

“It was a scrappy game – a lot of fouling, but in this league there’s a lot of battles like that. But on the road, coming off of a big win against San Jose, getting a point here, I think that’s huge for momentum.”

There's an energy building in the group following another solid result. Through the past two league matches the Revs have only conceded one goal and earned four points, while in their three matches prior, they conceded 15 goals and claimed just one point.

A clean sheet against Montreal not only builds momentum, but also validates the work that the guys have been putting in.

“The boys worked so hard out there,” said interim head coach Mike Lapper. “They defended; they stuck to our game plan. The game plan was like you’ve seen before; we were going to sit back, try to counter them.

“I thought we had a couple of chances maybe to knick three points, but at the end of the day a zero against a very good Montreal team at home speaks volumes to the guys in that locker room - their attitude, their effort, their desire and their fighting battle, and I can’t be more proud of them.”

That fight aids the team in coming up big in critical moments, and the group knows that this effort comes when they work hard together. 

“Everybody [worked],” said Bunbury when reflecting on the team’s defensive performance. “I mean obviously, Turner in goal – getting a clean sheet – we need that. Jalil [Anibaba] saving an unbelievable shot right off the goal line. [Andrew] Farrell being a pitbull back there. You’ve got DeJuan [Jones] who ended up coming in, even Edgar [Castillo] who did well, Brandon [Bye] – everybody on the backline, even in the midfield, I think across the board we were all putting work in. 

“I think that’s what it’s going to take to get clean sheets and get points in this league.”

The work doesn’t stop now, though, as the Revs shift their focus to next Saturday’s matchup at home against D.C. United. 

“We’re just excited to get back home and play there,” said Turner. “We’re looking for three points every time we play there. We were looking for three points today. 

“We know that we dug ourselves a pretty deep hole, and we need to continue to build, result after result after result, if we want to make a push for the playoffs."

The Revs will look to use the momentum they gained against both Montreal and San Jose in their past two league games when they kick off against D.C. United at 7:30 p.m. next Saturday, May 25.