PREVIEW – A lot of emphatic and reactionary phrases get thrown around in the football world, such as the battle between contenders and pretenders. CF Montreal visiting Gillette Stadium could be considered by many as one of the latter! CF Montreal weren’t expected to do this well, many thought they’d miss the playoffs, whilst New England were always going to be there or thereabouts. Will Wilfried Nancy’s side continue to defy the odds?
Are CF Montreal a true contender? Revs vs Montreal Preview!
When New England and CF Montreal have met in the past, the fixture has been pretty balanced with the Revs winning 13 of the 26, ten of the rest going the way of the Canadians. The last three times they’ve met it has been New England who have prevailed though, winning but conceding on each occasion.
Bruce Arena’s New England were flying high at the top of the east and whilst they still lead the conference, a run of three games without a win recently was far from ideal. Losses to FC Dallas and Toronto FC either side of score draw with the Crew came after a five-game win streak. Since this bad spell though things have fallen back into the usual rhythm even with the respective international commitments. Most recently, Adam Buksa and Traustason both scoring braces as the Revs won 5-0 against a woeful Inter Miami side, Teal Bunbury with the other strike.
Meanwhile it has been a bizarre season to date for CF Montreal, having to operate out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida being a real disadvantage. Despite that, the Canadian side in their new era have enjoyed victories over big sides like Toronto and NYCFC. Most recently, they drew against DC and Nashville before beating Inter Miami and the aforementioned New Yorkers. It was then a mind-blowing clash with FC Cincinnati that truly catches the eye, Mason Toye scoring twice in a great season for him as his team came out 5-to-4 victors.
It is heavily trodden ground but New England will of course be without two key players. Matt Turner and the USMNT have a game against Jamaica in the first knockout stage of the Gold Cup shortly after his club with face CF Montreal. Just before that too, Tajon Buchanan and the rest of Canada will meet Costa Rica at the AT&T Stadium, two game which will surely be very entertaining. Bruce Arena has shown time and time again that he has the know-how to navigate such a dilemma, they’ve been weaker at the back in Turner’s absence but New England have made up for it at the other end with Carles Gil and co.
On the other hand, CF Montreal have their own players still battling it out for Gold Cup glory, two of which are Canadians. Firstly there is forward Romell Quioto of Honduras, him being away stepping up the pressure on the shoulders of young Mason Toye. Back to the previously mentioned Canada duo and John Herdman has centre-back Kamal Miller in his squad as well as midfielder Samuel Piette. It’s not just the Gold Cup that affects the players available to Nancy, goalkeeper Clement Diop and also Ballou Tabla amongst those in the medical room.
New England hold a five-point advantage over Orlando in the Eastern Conference and Oscar Pareja’s men go to battle at the same time, they play NYCFC in a big game. Montreal are on the other hand a couple of points ahead of NYCFC in sixth and so both of these games will have major ramifications in the relevant conference. New England will certainly be the favorites and rightly so, but CF Montreal know how to put on a show that’s for sure!