HARRISON, N.J. – Playing a fourth game in 12 days and with just two days to recover from Sunday night’s road win at New York City FC, Bruce Arena opted for heavy rotation on Wednesday night at Red Bull Arena, making eight changes for his squad’s meeting with the Montreal Impact.
The result, however, was the same, as the Revs used goals from Kekuta Manneh, Teal Bunbury, and Adam Buksa to claim a 3-2 win over the Impact, improving to 4-1-1 in their last six games and 5-1-0 on the road since MLS returned to in-market matches in mid-August.
“It’s important,” Arena said of being able to win with depth. “I think most of the teams in the league are in a very difficult stretch. I think you can see the Montreal team had a little bit of fatigue, as well. And it’s been difficult. You see some of the scores [around the league] tonight, they’re surprising. I think teams are worn out.
“To be able to make eight changes and get three points on the road is very good. I think the players for the most part showed very well.”
New England got contributions from everywhere. Manneh scored less than 13 minutes into his first Revolution start, having played just 47 minutes with the club previously. Antonio Delamea and Michael Mancienne played the full 90 minutes in central defense, marking that duo’s first start together since the group stage of the MLS is Back Tournament in mid-July.
Perhaps most notably Buksa set up Manneh’s opener before scoring the eventual game winner early in the second half, earning Shaw’s Man of the Match honors in just his second start since mid-September.
“I think every guy on the roster deserves to play because of the way we train really well,” said Buksa. “There’s no second team on our roster. I think we’re all responsible for the results and many of the guys got a chance today to show what they can do, and we managed to win a game against a tough opponent.
“It shows that whoever is on the field, they’re guaranteed to be good quality, which is very important for the rest of the season because the schedule is crazy and we play every third day, so we need to have a deep roster, and we do.”
Wednesday night’s depth-fueled victory might have been just as important because of who didn’t play, as the Revs were able to get valuable rest for players like Lee Nguyen, Henry Kessler, Andrew Farrell, and Scott Caldwell, who’ve played big minutes in recent weeks.
Now the Revs will have fresh legs for Monday night’s massive meeting with the Philadelphia Union, who clinched a playoff spot on Wednesday and will come to Gillette Stadium with just one loss in their last nine (6-1-2) and three points off the Supporters’ Shield lead.
“This shows that everybody’s ready to play,” Alex Büttner said after assisting on Bunbury’s team-leading sixth goal. “This was a good win for us.”