The mid-summer woes of the Revolution are long forgotten now that fall is unofficially here and they are playing as well as any team in Major League Soccer. With New England’s (12-9-7) 3-1 win on Sunday at Toronto’s (11-12-4) BMO Field, the defending Eastern Conference champions extended their current win-streak to five games. Furthermore, the Revs are unbeaten in their last seven matches (6-0-1) dating all the way back to July 18 and with only six games remaining in the regular season they are suddenly in really good shape heading into the postseason.
The top-six teams in each conference make the playoffs and New England is in fourth-place in the East while the three points from Sunday gave them further separation (six points) ahead of fifth-place Toronto. The Red Bulls (13-7-6) have the inside track to the top-seed with 45 points and they have two games in hand over the Revolution. D.C. (13-10-6) also has 45 points but they’ve played one more game than New England and Columbus (12-9-8) is one point ahead with one more game played than the Revs as well.
Just like any sport, winning on the road is always difficult so New England head coach Jay Heaps was happy with the result even if it wasn’t a masterpiece by any means.
“It wasn’t our best game by any stretch but we really worked hard,” explained Heaps. “It was a team effort tonight and it wasn’t our prettiest but I was really proud of them.”
New England has been clicking on all cylinders both offensively and defensively during this stretch: it was the third time during the unbeaten streak that they scored three goals and for the sixth time in seven games, they allowed one goal or less. This kicked off the busiest week of the season for the Revs as they host the Red Bulls on Wednesday (7:30, CSN) at Gillette Stadium before going back to Canada for the second weekend in a row to visit Montreal’s (9-11-5) Stade Saputo on Saturday (8, CSN). The Revolution scored three different ways against Toronto: they benefited from an own goal, Diego Fagundez scored on a brilliant strike (his 3rd game in a row with a goal) and substitute Kelyn Rowe clinched it with an insurance tally.
Midfielder Jermaine Jones picked up a yellow card against Toronto (his 2nd in as many games) which means that he’ll miss Wednesday’s huge showdown with New York. The good news for the Revolution is that their other star midfielder Lee Nguyen assisted on the last two goals on Sunday. He stole the ball from Toronto midfielder Michael Bradley in his own defensive box before passing to Rowe for the finish, an excellent hustle play. Similar to his team’s malaise a few months back, Nguyen looks like the MVP candidate from last season for one of the top clubs in MLS.