FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution earned a massive road point against the Portland Timbers on Wednesday night, finishing in a 2-2 draw at Providence Park.
It wasn’t just the point that lifted the Revolution, but the fashion in which it was claimed. It came down to the final three minutes of regulation combined with stoppage time, but this group surprised the masses by coming from behind to take something back to the East Coast.
It came down to their determination. It's a battle they've been fighting all season, since they started 2-8-2 before turning their season around to go 8-2-10 under sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena.
“The second part of the season under the new coaching staff, you can see the fight that the guys have and how no matter what the scoreline is, we’re always going to be able to fight at the end of the game,” said defender Andrew Farrell.
“I think that’s something that Bruce has tried to implement, that no matter what the score is, just try to keep on believing and fighting until the last minute, because you never know what could happen.”
Their belief will continue this weekend, as the Revs fight for a win in their home finale against East-leading New York City FC.
If this resilient group takes a full three points in front of their home supporters, they'll clinch their first playoff berth since 2015, moving from midseason when they were bottom of the East to a team that has a chance to vie for an MLS Cup title.
“Everything that’s been thrown at us this season, we haven’t wavered or hid from any challenges,” said Jalil Anibaba. “We’ve also obviously shown that we’re a fighting group, and last night [against Portland] was indicative of that.
“We’re obviously trying to take that into the next match and the next one after that and then the playoffs.”
All sights are now set on Sunday’s match-up against New York City FC, as the East leaders will also be fighting for points because with a win or draw, they will clinch a first-round bye in the playoffs.
However, the Revs are up for the challenge.
“It’s a big opportunity,” said midfielder Juan Agudelo. “[NYCFC is] a good team. I mean, their record shows it [17-5-10], but we’re looking forward to playing this game on Sunday in our home field and we’re going to get after it. Just get those three points that we’ve been looking for the past couple weeks.”
The Revs will kick off against NYCFC at Gillette Stadium on Sunday at 5 p.m.