New England Soccer Today

One Last Chance for Road Success

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

For Tom Soehn, the key to snapping the Revolution’s season-long road struggles starts with one simple idea: keeping 11 men on the field.

After the Revolution finished their last three road tilts shorthanded, New England’s interim boss is hoping to avoid a reprisal during Sunday’s season finale at Montreal.

“You always want 11-[vs.]-11 and really gauge yourself against your opponents,” Soehn told the media Wednesday. “Hopefully, it stays like that. That way we can kind of tell what we’re about.”

Yes, keeping a full compliment of players on the pitch is perhaps the most basic tenent for any chance of getting three points, whether it’s at home or on the road. But for the Revolution, who’ve gone 0-13-3 on the road this year, it all starts there.

The last time they finished with 11 men was a 2-1 loss at New York City FC, a match in which they fired the opening salvo before the lead evaporated as the closing bell approached.

“We need to stay smart,” Revolution midfielder Teal Bunbury told the media on Wednesday. “We need to make sure that we’re not giving the referees any opportunities to make some crazy calls, whether they’re right or wrong. We have to put ourselves in good positions.”

Fortunately for the Revolution, they’ve put themselves in good positions when they’ve played at Stade Saputo. New England has a respectable 3-4-1 all-time record in Montreal, and actually picked up a victory there as recently as last year.

But Bunbury knows history won’t mean a thing once the whistle blows.

“We have to be mentally tough, mentally strong, but just be aware that with this [Video Review], anything can happen really,” Bunbury said. “So, [it’s] being smart, working for each other, and not getting into too many big altercations with other players or with the referees, because anything can happen.”

Anything can indeed happen, especially when two teams out of contention square off on the last day of the regular season. One might say the Revolution have nothing to lose on Sunday.

But given the team’s recent inability to keep 11 players on the field in front of an unfriendly crowd, that might not be the most fitting phrase.

“Any time you prepare for an opponent, you prepare for 11-v-11 and once that goes out the window, your game plan also goes away,” Soehn said. “Our guys are pretty good at executing game plans, we want to make sure that we have a sound game plan and see if we can execute it and get our first result on the road.”

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