MLS Regular Season | Match #13
New England Revolution vs. Montreal Impact
Wednesday, September 23 | 5 p.m. ET
Gillette Stadium | Foxborough, Mass.
Watch: NBC Sports Boston
Listen: 98.5 The Sports Hub HD2 (English), 1260 AM Nossa Radio USA (Portuguese)
Revolution Pregame Live presented by Dan O’Brien Automotive Group (4:15 p.m.)
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New England Revolution
7th in Eastern Conference (3-3-6, 15 pts.)
Last Result | 0-0 draw vs. New York City FC
Bruce Arena called the Revolution’s performance against NYCFC this past Saturday “much improved” as they kept their fourth clean sheet and lowered their team goals against average to 0.92 in a 0-0 draw. They were, however, frustrated once again in the attacking third as NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson turned away all seven of their shots on target.
Wednesday provides the Revolution with another chance to pick up their first home win of 2020, as they’ve gone 0-1-4 at Gillette Stadium dating back to the home opener on March 7.
6th in Eastern Conference (5-6-1, 16 pts.)
Last Result | 4-1 loss vs. Philadelphia Union
Montreal have been up-and-down in Thierry Henry’s first year at the helm, going 3-4-0 since returning to league play in late August. All three of those wins were against Vancouver and Toronto, as the league’s trio of Canadian teams exclusively played each other through Phase 1 of the return to play.
Most recently the Impact have suffered back-to-back losses, plagued by first-half red cards against both Vancouver (3-1 loss) and the Philadelphia Union (4-1 loss).
Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen
New England have been craving a creative attacking spark since Carles Gil was lost for 3-5 months this summer, and Lee Nguyen went a long way to providing it this past weekend against NYCFC. Nguyen occupied the No. 10 role just behind Gustavo Bou and thrived in his first appearance with the Revs since 2017.
Gil was dominant when the Revs beat the Impact 1-0 at the MLS is Back Tournament on July 9 – creating 12 chances and assisting on Bou’s game winner – and Nguyen could play in a similar spot on Wednesday.
Impact midfielder Saphir Taïder
Algerian international Saphir Taïder has been a key piece of the Impact’s attack for three seasons now, totaling 20 goals and 21 assists since debuting in 2018, including four goals and a team-leading six assists while starting 11 of Montreal’s 12 league matches this year.
Taïder could take on an even bigger role on Wednesday with leading goal scorer Romell Quioto (6) suspended, and longtime Revolution killer Maxi Urruti having missed the last five games with a knee injury.
Lee Nguyen pulled off a bit of a surprise by going 89 minutes in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with NYCFC, proving his fitness is further along than perhaps even he believed. The challenge now will be recovering in time to again play a significant role on Wednesday against the Impact.
New England’s midfield otherwise receives a boost with the return of Matt Polster, eligible once again after serving a one-game suspension this past weekend.
Montreal have been without several of their top attacking weapons in recent weeks, and that could be the case again on Wednesday. Romell Quioto and his team-leading six goals will be suspended following his ejection in Montreal’s loss to Philadelphia, while both Maxi Urruti and Anthony Jackson-Hamel have been hampered by injuries in recent weeks.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
New England Revolution head coach Bruce Arena
“There’s a lot of parts of our game we need to get better at. There’s a lot of points we’re making to the team to concentrate on. I think we’re going to score goals. It’s just a matter of time, but time is running out on us. We’ve got to certainly be better. Obviously, defending principles are something that you can coach and really teach your team. You can work together on a daily basis in getting that right. The attacking part of the game is difficult. A lot of times you hear in sports – if you’re listening to the NBA now or the NFL – you need guys who make plays. And we’ve had players in position to make plays, as we say. I think it’s just going to be a matter of time where a couple of guys make the plays. When that happens, I think we’re going to be winning games.”
New England Revolution left back Alex Büttner
“I think our backline is good. We don’t get a lot of goals against us. I think it’s not only the backline. We do it all together, as a team. We make each other better in training. Everybody’s working hard so it’s really important that everybody stays as a team, together. Not only the players who play on the first 11 but also the players who are on the bench are really important. We have a lot of games so everybody needs to stay focused.”