For the fourth straight week, the New England Revolution (7-3-2, 23 points) will face an opponent fresh off a midweek match when they face the Montreal Impact (1-6-4, 7 points) on Saturday at Stade Saputo. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.
The Impact will enter Saturday’s game on the heels of Wednesday’s first leg of the Canadian Championship, which pit IMFC against Toronto FC. With its form floundering in the league, Montreal coach Frank Klopas fielded a number of regulars with a ticket to CONCACAF Champions League play at stake.
While the last-place Impact enter the weekend hoping to right the ship, the first-place Revolution are looking to proceed full steam ahead on the momentum built from their seven-game unbeaten streak (6-0-1).
Here are some notes surrounding the Revolution as they get ready to embark on a trip north of the border:
-Saturday’s match is the first time the Revolution and Impact will meet this season. Last year, the sides split their two-game regular season series (1-1-0).
-The Revolution’s seven-game unbeaten streak is tied for the second-longest in club history, four behind the 11-game unblemished run (7-0-4) it put together in 2005. The Revolution also collected seven-game unbeaten runs in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Incidentally, they reached the postseason in each of those years.
-On Wednesday, the Revolution will found out who it will face in the fourth round of the 2014 U.S. Open Cup tournament. New England will play the Richmond Kickers (USL PRO) in Richmond, Va. for a June 18 clash.
-Despite having one of the worst offenses in the league, the Revolution will no doubt keep an eye on Impact striker Jack McInerney. Heading into Saturday’s match, the 21-year-old scored three game-winners against the Revolution between 2012 and 2013, albeit all as a member of the Philadelphia Union. The Union traded McInerney to Montreal for Andrew Wenger last month.
-Revolution coach Jay Heaps has long preached the importance of possession in beyond the center line in order to plot and exploit scoring opportunities. Not surprisingly, the Revolution lead all of MLS with 30 percent of their touches coming in opponents’ end of the pitch. Conversely, the Impact is 17th in touches inside opponents’ territory, with 25 percent of touches coming from that area of the field.
-Curious as to why Heaps decided to re-incorporate center back Jose Goncalves to the lineup for Saturday’s match against D.C., even though the backline appeared to be jelling without him? Here’s the explanation straight from the Revolution coach: “It wasn’t about just getting Jose back. I thought (on Saturday) we needed a little uptick from some senior leadership because that’s what he does so well. If you ever worried about complacency, go in a locker room 10 minutes before a game and I’ll tell you right now, Jose is going to eliminate any complacency in anyone.”