FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Different game, same objective.
Just as last weekend’s 4-0 victory over Orlando City SC was dubbed a “must-win” by New England Revolution players, so, too, has Saturday night’s meeting with the Montreal Impact, who sit just four points ahead of the Revs in the Eastern Conference standings.
Kickoff from Gillette Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m., with Brad Feldman, Paul Mariner and Naoko Funayama handling the English call on CSN New England and 98.5 The Sports Hub. Portuguese radio listeners can tune into WMVX 1570 AM “Nossa Radio USA.”
Revolution Pregame Live with Gabriella DiGiovanni and Jeff Lemieux will stream live on the Revolution’s Facebook page at 7 p.m., while Revolution Postgame Live will begin immediately after the final whistle on CSN New England. Meanwhile, Rob “Hardy” Poole and Shalrie Joseph will take calls on 98.5 The Sports Hub postgame.
Fans attending the match are encouraged to bring party supplies for donation to the Confetti Foundation. More information on the Confetti Foundation’s mission and a full list of appropriate party supplies can be found on the organization’s official web site, confettifoundation.org.
Current Form: Win over Orlando gives Revs “huge confidence boost” during stretch run
New England kicked off their busiest month of the year in emphatic fashion last weekend, rolling past Orlando City SC in a 4-0 win. Kei Kamara bagged his first career MLS hat trick in the victory, while Lee Nguyen tied an MLS record by assisting on all four goals, vaulting him into a tie for the league lead with 14 helpers.
Now the Revs will hope to use that performance as the catalyst for a memorable month, as they’ll need to continue racking up the points throughout September to make a serious push for the postseason.
“It’s a huge confidence boost for us,” said Teal Bunbury, who has six goals in the past eight games after capping the scoring against Orlando. “These games are super important. We’re taking it like they’re all playoff games. We’re playing essentially all Eastern Conference teams, so they’re six-point swings.”
Montreal currently sit directly in front of the Revs in the East, and adding to the intrigue these sides will meet again north of the border on Decision Day. The Impact will visit Foxborough having lost consecutive games for just the second time this year, although that mini slide comes on the back of a four-game winning streak.
Ignacio Piatti (15 goals, four assists) continues to be the driving force for Montreal’s attack, although the arrival of Blerim Dzemaili (six goals, eight assists) has lightened some of the load.
“Every team in the league cues in on [Piatti] in their preparations, and he still seems to find ways to score goals and affect the game,” said Chris Tierney. “Adding another piece takes attention away from him a little bit, so there’s more guys that you have to be concerned about.”
Past Meetings: Revs snapped five-game winless run with pair of victories late last year
A pair of wins over the Impact late last season (in Montreal on September 17; at home on October 23) helped the Revs snap a five-game winless run in the series with their neighbors from the north.
New England’s win in last year’s season finale at Gillette Stadium was just their second over Montreal in Foxborough, where the Impact have managed three victories and a draw in six visits. The Revs, meanwhile, have won on three of their eight trips to Montreal.
Kei Kamara will be one to watch on Saturday night, and not just because he’s managed seven goals in the past seven games. The veteran forward has a history of success against the Impact, having scored six goals in his last four appearances against the Canadian club.
Injury Report: Delamea and Watson return from int’l duty; Fagundez back in the mix
The Revs will regain the services of two defenders on Saturday night as both Antonio Delamea and Je-Vaughn Watson are back in Foxborough after missing the win over Orlando while on international duty.
Diego Fagundez could also be available after missing last weekend’s game as he overcomes a right quad strain, while newcomer Krisztián Németh is pushing for more minutes after registering an assist in a brief debut last Saturday night.
Kelyn Rowe, meanwhile, will miss his third straight game with a right knee sprain.
Final Thoughts: Tierney says playoff scenarios are “a pretty simple equation” for Revs
“It’s pretty simple math,” Tierney said. “At this point in the year, we need three points. We can’t afford to have them take any points. A pretty simple equation here – we need a ‘W,’ and anything less is not going to be good enough.”