Only four games remain in the 2015 regular season for the Revolution. While New England (13-10-7) hasn’t officially clinched a playoff spot, it is a mere formality at this point since one more win or even two ties will get the job done. With two matches remaining at Gillette Stadium, beginning this Saturday night (7:30, CSN) vs. Philadelphia (9-15-6), and two more on the road, it is all about them getting tuned up for the postseason. Assuming that they reach the playoffs, it looks like the Revs could finish anywhere between the top seed and No. 5 (out of 6 clubs in the Eastern Conference). Their main focus will be on getting one of the top two spots because that would give them a bye from the first-round of the postseason.
Saturday’s 3-0 loss at Montreal (10-11-6) was costly to New England for a few reasons: Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over the Red Bulls (14-8-6) had temporarily propelled them to first-place in the East; also a win in Canada would have clinched a playoff spot. Still, after a franchise record-tying win streak (7-0-1), the Revolution were probably due for a letdown especially competing in their third game in the past six days.
Midfielder Jermaine Jones hopes that disappointing result is useful to his team in terms of their collective mindset moving forward. “Maybe it’s a good wakeup call, so that we know how difficult the next games are and that we have to be focused. You can see when you’re not 100 percent-the whole team-that we cannot win.”
New York’s win over the weekend put them back in first, two points ahead of New England (with two games in hand). That means that catching the Red Bulls will be tough, realistically the Revs have a much better chance of jumping over the Crew (13-9-8) who are one point ahead of them (both have played 30 matches) in second-place. The schedule down the stretch shouldn’t be an issue for the Revolution since three of the four clubs (Philly, Chicago and NYCFC) they’ll meet are currently out of the Eastern Conference playoff picture. New England is 2-0 against Philadelphia this season, although both contests have been decided by one goal (2-1 on April 19 and 1-0 on August 29, each at PPL Park). Furthermore, even though the Union is three points (and three games in hand) behind sixth-place Montreal, they still have an outside chance at a playoff berth. Regardless, they would love to screw up New England’s plans with an upset in Foxborough.
Midfielder Scott Caldwell is confident that the Revs can bounce back starting this weekend. “We’ve got to get back on the right track,” said the Braintree native. “Against Philly, if we can get a win there, we’re in the playoffs and we can keep that momentum going through the end of the regular season.”