Thursday, September 5, 2013
Revs and Impact finally meet
By Brian O'Connell
With three-quarters of the regular season in the rear-view mirror, the New England Revolution (10-9-7, 37 points) finally face conference rival Montreal Impact (12-7-6, 42 points) for the first time this season on Sunday at Gillette Stadium.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m., and will mark the first time since Aug. 12, 2012 that the Impact have played at Gillette Stadium (a game they won 1-0).
Last year, the Impact claimed the season series with a 2-1-0 mark against the Revolution, who got their lone win in the season finale on Oct. 27, 2012 at Stade Saputo in Montreal.
* Sunday’s match is the latest the Revolution will face a conference opponent for the first time in a season. For perspective, consider that the Revolution have already wrapped up their season series with two conference foes (Philadelphia and Toronto).
* The Impact enter this weekend’s clash in a three-way tie for first place with New York and Sporting Kansas City, all of whom have 42 points. But with two games in hand on both sides, the Impact currently have the upper hand on their co-leaders.
* The Revolution and Impact are coming off of disappointing road draws against lower-ranked opponents. The Revolution settled for a 1-1 draw at Toronto last Friday, while the Impact couldn’t scratch the board in a 0-0 draw at Philadelphia last Saturday. Incidentally, both clubs also enter the clash riding three-game unbeaten streaks.
* Revolution striker Juan Agudelo, who came off in the 78th minute of Friday’s game at Toronto with a hamstring injury, was not seen at practice on Wednesday. His status for this week’s game is uncertain.
* Impact striker Marco Di Vaio, who leads MLS in goals with 15 so far this season, has accounted for 36.5 percent of his team’s 41 total goals scored, good enough for second in the league. Whitecaps forward Camilo Sanvezzo has the highest percentage (36.8 percent) in MLS, with 14 of his team’s 38 total goals.
* Sunday’s game will bring a rare treat for the Revolution. With Tuesday’s high-profile Brazil-Portugal international friendly on tap, a natural-grass surface will be installed at Gillette Stadium in time for Sunday’s MLS clash.
* One player who won’t be available for selection on Sunday is recent Revolution signing O’Brian Woodbine. The 25-year-old wingback was called up by the Jamaica National Team earlier this week with a pair of World Cup Qualifiers set for Friday and Tuesday. He is expected to return to the Revolution on Sept. 12.