New England Soccer Today

A Blueprint for Road Success?

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

There’s bad news, and good news for the Revolution going into Saturday’s match at Yankee Stadium.

The bad news: they haven’t won on the road this year.

The good news? They may have found the blueprint for the breakthrough.

Last weekend, the locals eked out a 1-0 home victory over the Whitecaps in a performance that didn’t exactly entice a massive amount of clicks on its highlight reel.

“We need to be able to battle, to grind out games,” Revolution midfielder/forward Teal Bunbury told the media earlier this week. “Even if they’re not the prettiest of games, we need to be able to get wins like that.”

The “winning ugly” mentality is something the Revolution haven’t struggled to do when necessary – at least at home. But on the road? Not so much.

With a 0-8-3 record away from the comfort of their Commonwealth home, Bunbury and his teammates will look to contain David Villa & Co. in the same manner that they were able to clamp down on Vancouver’s Cristian Techera and Fredy Montero.

In Saturday’s victory, the footballers from Foxboro sent away 32 clearances and committed 17 fouls against a team with one of the best road records in MLS. Yes, those stats don’t tell the whole story. But they are indicative of an edge absent from the team’s collective mindset in hostile territory. An edge the Revolution will need to bring against second-place New York City FC.

“You’ve got to grind it out on the road,” Revolution defender Andrew Farrell told the media earlier this week. “It’s a tough environment against a hot team who are really good at home. You’ve got to bring that mentality of grinding results out.”

Grinding out a result usually requires putting the ball in the net at some point, especially against a potent City side that’s scored 45 goals. Only Toronto FC (46 goals) has scored more in MLS.

“When we go on the road we need to do everything we can to make sure we go up a goal and then everybody needs to defend 90 minutes,” Revolution midfielder Diego Fgaundez told the media earlier this week. “I think last Saturday, we definitely did well doing that.”

Will the win over Vancouver provide the Revolution with the proper instructions for getting their first set of three points on the road come Saturday? Time will tell.

But as far as Bunbury’s concerned, last weekend’s win was a step in the right direction.

“We need to bring that on the road,” Bunbury said. “It’s something, obviously, we’re doing really well at home, but that’s something we really need to get better at on the road, is being able to work for each other, be kind of – not nasty, but be very aggressive on the road. At times, we’re going to be able to play, but it’s about battling.”

Leave a Reply