The second of a two-part trip to Canada is set to take place tomorrow night for the New England Revolution. From Toronto to Montreal and this is another Eastern Conference clash. Every game is huge for Bruce Arena’s men as they battle it out for a spot in the post-season. Can they maintain their unbeaten run in Montreal?
New England Revolution and CF Montreal Go Head-to-Head in the Eastern Conference
Montreal In Contention for an Eastern Conference Home Game
Four unbeaten games became five in a mid-week fixture at BMO Field. Two of the three Italians were on target for the Canadians in an enthralling 2-2 draw. Former Juventus man Federico Bernardeschi scored from the penalty spot whilst experienced defender Domenico Criscito netted his first TFC goal in impressive style.
In the four games prior, the Revs didn’t concede a single goal. They beat Orlando and D.C. United whilst this draw with Toronto makes it three-in-five after goalless ties with Columbus and TFC once again. Regarding this run, assistant coach Richie Williams said that “We’ve played very well defensively, which I think has been key.”
Anyone know the word in Italian for 'Sit Down'? 🥵🥵 pic.twitter.com/K3gclBWyLZ
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) August 19, 2022
Moving on to the opponents and whilst New England are fighting to get above the line, CF Montreal have a home playoff game to play for. They have jumped above NYCFC into second in the Eastern Conference after a strong run of results. Last time out, despite going behind after a Sebastian Ferreira strike, they won out in a five-goal thriller in Houston.
Here are Williams’ thoughts on this weekend’s opponents for the Revs. “I think they’re a really well-rounded team from front to back and it’s going to be a challenging game, but we just have to make sure, again, that we go out there with that great mentality and we feel like when we do play well, we play as a team, we can get a positive result.”
The Revs Dominate This Fixture
There is dominating a fixture and then there is the situation between the Revs and CF Montreal. The Eastern Conference rivals faced off all of five times in 2020 alone, the last six outings going the way of New England. Montreal won back in early 2020 on home soil but since then, the Revs have taken over.
Across these six wins, marvelously, there have been many different scorers. Besides Adam Buksa with two and Gustavo Bou with six, seven different people were on target a single time. This includes captain Carles Gil, departed duo Teal Bunbury and Tajon Buchanan as well as Rudy Camacho with an own goal.
— CF Montréal (@cfmontreal) August 16, 2022
Casting our minds back to the 2-2 draw with TFC and Richie Williams offered some fascinating insight into the game. “The other night was more of a defensive shape in terms of the way we played with a back five and sat back and let Toronto have more of the ball, and that was our tactic going into the game. For us, it worked, and we were able to get out with a point.”
Meanwhile, there are certain difficulties when it comes to playing away from home, especially when you have to travel as far as Canada. Tommy McNamara highlighted the pros and cons of this. “Every away game is difficult in MLS… It was a great stadium and great access atmosphere to play in, and I expect the same in Montreal tomorrow. I enjoy coming up here [to Canada].”
Bruce Arena Playing the Youth
Due to various reasons, from injuries to their own excellence, a number of young players have entered the fold for the Revolution this season. It began with Tico Rivera and more recently, Noel Buck and Esmir Bajraktarevic got a taste of first-team football.
Midfielder McNamara spoke highly on these players: “They have a good mentality about them, they are humble, but they want to learn, and they are committed to working hard… We love having them be a part of the club and they’ve got a very bright future ahead of them.”
From MLS NEXT to MLS now@NERevsAcademy products Noel Buck and Esmir Bajraktarevic made their @MLS debuts this week in the club’s regular season matches against DC United and Toronto FC. pic.twitter.com/lXmNUA7zjr
— MLS NEXT (@MLSNEXT) August 19, 2022
Williams echoed similar sentiments also. “They’re still young, still inexperienced guys, but they did a great job to come in and help out and we look to the future for these young players to continue to come through our system and help out the first team, so really well done by them.”
Due to aforementioned injuries homegrowns such as Buck and Bajraktarevic could well be asked to step up once again in this Eastern Conference clash with CF Montreal. Both teams have a lot on the line and so it will be a must-watch outing at Saputo Stadium.