The New England Revolution will be hoping to return to winning ways on Wednesday night when they travel north of the border to take on expansion side Montreal Impact, the first such meeting between the two clubs in MLS history. The Revs need to wash the taste of Saturday's home loss to Toronto out of their mouths, while Montreal will also be trying to overcome a weekend loss to Philadelphia.
Montreal is not a team that has performed terribly in their expansion season. In fact, the Impact sit just one point behind the Revs in the Eastern Conference standings, although New England has three games in hand. That said, the Revs are the much better team and should be able to play like it. Montreal's defense is the worst in the league - they've given up a staggering 15 more goals than the Revolution - and it hasn't exactly looked as though that's going to change. Saer Sene should be licking his chops for this match.
Offensively, the Impact is actually slightly more potent than the Revs, although that could be a product of having played three extra games. They have 28 goals on the year against the Revs' 24, but right now their striker contingent is old, battered, and running on empty. Designated Player Marco Di Vaio has yet to find his rhythm in MLS, and the only other true striker option on their roster is 39-year old Eduardo Sebrango. Still, they will get some offensive support from guys like Davy Arnaud, Sanna Nyassi, Lamar Neagle, and Felipe, so the New England defense can't sleep through this one.
The injury report for this game is sparse, which is nice. Jose Moreno and Zak Boggs are probable, although Boggs is still on the disabled list. Only Alec Purdie remains listed as "out." More relevant to most Revolution fans' interests, however, is the status of Stephen McCarthy, who is questionable with concussion-like symptoms. A betting man (which I am only on occasion) would probably expect him to be rested for this game.
Although he is not injured, it is important to also remember that Jerry Bengtson will be gone for this match and the next few, as he has joined up with the Honduras national team in London ahead of the Olympic tournament.
These two teams have no series history, but the Revolution do have a decent record against expansion sides. They are 10-9-6 overall against MLS newcomers, but their record since the newer wave of expansion began in 2005 is even better. Against those clubs, the Revs are 9-4-6, including an excellent 5-0-4 mark in their first meeting with such sides.
The match will be televised live at 8:00 PM EST on CSN. The radio call will be handled by 98.5 The Sports Hub.