Newly acquired designated player Jermaine Jones made his much-anticipated debut for the Revolution, while Lee Nguyen gave them an early lead en route to a convincing 3-0 win over Toronto FC on Saturday at BMO Field.
Nguyen struck his team-leading 10th goal of the season in the second minute, while Kelyn Rowe blasted a shot from distance in the 21st minute to secure his second goal of the season. Teal Bunbury piled it on with his third goal of the season in the 58th minute.
Jones, who was acquired by the club last weekend, made his first appearance for the Revolution in the 65th minute when he came on for Daigo Kobayashi. The U.S. national team member completed 79 percent of his passes during his second-half cameo.
Saturday's win extended the Revolution's recent unbeaten run to three straight (2-0-1), and allowed them to improve their mark to 10-12-3 (33 points). On the other side of the scoreboard, Toronto saw their fortunes sink for the second straight game (0-1-1), and watched their record drop to 9-9-6 (33 points).
What it means: In the days leading up to Saturday's conference showdown, the Revolution emphasized the need to grind out results down the stretch. But that idea seemed to take a backseat inside of two minutes thanks to a low liner from Nguyen that ended up in the back of the net. From there, it appeared that the guests would have to bunker in and clog the lanes to hold on to their slim margin. That was until Rowe's 21st-minute rocket, which gave the Revolution their first multiple-goal lead since July 30. Bunbury's open-net effort early in the second cinched it to give the Revolution one of their most impressive wins of the season. It may be too early to definitively deem their summertime struggles a relic, but Saturday's performance is a considerable step in the right direction.
Stat of the match: Lee Nguyen's second-minute strike was the quickest goal scored by the Revolution this season. Prior to Saturday, a 10th-minute goal against Colorado on July 30 served as the earliest strike seen this season. The goalscorer on that one? None other than Nguyen.
Scoreboard watch: The three points collected north of the border put the Revolution in a three-way tie for third-place along with Toronto and Columbus, all of whom sit at 33 points.
Road success a long time coming: Saturday's win was the first measure of success the Revolution secured on the road since a 5-3 victory over the Union at PPL Park. Prior to the win over the Reds, the Revolution went 0-5-0 in their last five road tilts, and were outscored by a combined score of 13-3.
Lineup changes: Coach Jay Heaps made one change the Revolution lineup on Saturday, with Teal Bunbury returning to the XI to fill the right-sided midfielder's spot. With Bunbury back in the lineup, Diego Fagundez started the match on the bench for the second time in the team's last four contests.
Caldwell to miss next match: Revolution midfielder Scott Caldwell collected a 47th-minute caution for his tactical foul on Dominic Oduro. As a result of the booking, Caldwell, who entered the match on yellow card watch, will be forced to sit out the Revolution's midweek tilt against Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday.
Next up: It'll be a short turnaround for the Revolution following their road triumph in Toronto as they prepare for second-place Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday at Gillette Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. The Revolution staked a 2-0 win over Kansas City on April 26.