New England Revolution Fall in Montreal, End Winning Streak


This is MLS parity at its finest.

The New England Revolution came up short Saturday night at rainy Stade Saputo in Montreal as L’Impact downed the Revs 3-0, ending their eight-game unbeaten streak.

As rain flooded the French-Canadian city, the Revs suited up for their third game in seven days to try to close up the week with 9 additional points in the standings. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t their night. A wildly deflected ball, which caught New England Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth off balance, put Montreal midfielder Johan Venegas on the score sheet only five minutes into the match.

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The Revs played collectively for the rest of the half, controlling possession at times and running at the Montreal back line for one or two threatening opportunities including a Charlie Davies header that was heroically cleared off the goal-line by Impact defender Laurent Ciman. However, Montreal’s Didier Drogba, surely carrying the favor of the soccer gods, didn’t let his team get swayed by a Revs resurgence. The legendary ex-Chelsea star was awarded a rather weak free kick some fifteen yards outside the box after a visibly fair shoulder-to-shoulder tussle with Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe. His shot from the spot took a series of deflections that skipped past Shuttleworth to put the Impact up 2-0 in the 60th minute.

Montreal Impact midfielder Marco Donadel was shown a red card in the 72nd minute for a clumsy and unnecessary tackle on Revs defender Andrew Farrell who seemed temporarily shaken up on the play. Although playing with a man-advantage, the Revs couldn’t generate any offensive prowess as their attempts to push up the field were punished by another Montreal goal in the 76th minute scored by midfielder Dilly Duka.

Do not take too much from this game. The Revs were exhausted from traveling and playing their third game in a week. It showed in their lack of aggression in the attacking third with only four shots on target the whole game. Little was expected of them, even if a playoff-clinching game was on the line (We all know we’ll clinch the playoffs either this week or the next. That is no issue).

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Normally I would be frustrated at how Revolution head coach Jay Heaps approached this starting lineup. Steve Neumann and Kelyn Rowe (this season’s Rowe with his current run of form) are not my ideal selections. However, the Revs were given a rough week to deal with by a league that seems to always have some sort of scheduling fiasco every season.

Stepping back from the game and examining the current state of the Revs, it is absolutely crazy to think that we would be sitting cozy near the top of the Eastern Conference by mid-September after that mind-numbing 11-game winless blunder over the summer. It is testament to the extreme parity of MLS and what makes the league unique from any other sports league in the world.

The bottle line is that there is always hope for any team in this league to make a break-away run toward the playoffs. The second bottom line is that we need to stop making long-term predictions about the team’s form. From considering getting rid of Heaps in the summer, to riding the excitement of a five-game winning streak a month later, we should learn to bite our tongues in the future.

The Revs return to Foxborough on Saturday, September 26th to meet the Philadelphia Union as Jay Heaps and company attempt to solidify an early playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. It will be no easy task as the Union have hopes of their own for claiming the coveted sixth place position that will sneak them into the postseason.

Next: New England Revolution Down Toronto FC 3-1 in Ontario