New England Soccer Today

Time to Quiet the Noise

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Ignore the noise. It’s the unofficial mantra of that other team the Revolution share Gillette Stadium with. But the MLS squad has apparently adopted it for its own use ahead of a critical two-game road swing.

While plenty has been made about the Revolution’s winless ways on the road – and justifiably so given their 0-10-3 mark outside of New England – Revolution midfielder Diego Fagundez isn’t paying attention to the naysayers ahead of Wednesday’s contest at Atlanta.

“They can say whatever they want,” Fagundez told the media Tuesday. “We’re just hoping to do our job and give it 100 percent.”

But giving it their all has not been the squad’s strong suit when they step on foreign soil. One need only look at their latest road showing – a dreadful 1-0 defeat at last-place DC – to see how much the locals have struggled to play a sound game of soccer away from Gillette Stadium.

That said, what’s done is done. With no time machine at their disposal, the Revolution are looking forward – namely, at an important mid-week clash against expansion Atlanta United FC. Read: the same Atlanta United FC who hold the sixth and final playoff spot.

To say the stakes are high going into the match for the eighth-place Revolution – who sit four points below Atlanta on the table – would be a Boeing 767-sized understatement.

“It’s huge for us,” Revolution midfielder Bunbury told the media. “We need to get wins on the road coming up here. We have seven games left in the season, and we know Atlanta is a great team.”

Calling the Peach State selection “great” might be generous on Bunbury’s part. Atlanta has only won two of its last six, and their defense has squandered leads all season.

However, if the belief that you’re only as good as your last performance holds true for Atlanta, then the Revolution indeed have a battle on their hands as they prepare to step onto the brand new pitch at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

On Sunday, the expansion side obliterated FC Dallas – yes, FC Dallas – to the tune of a 3-0 thrashing. To that end, the Revolution must summon the same form that allowed them to win their last two matches just to have a punching chance at improving their playoff hopes.

“We need to play together as a unit,” Bunbury said, “and be mentally strong, and we need three points.”

To do that, they must overcome Atlanta’s potent attack – oh, and the expected crowd of 42,000 plus for the squad’s second home game at their new home grounds. The odds may be stacked against them, but don’t expect the Revolution to be intimidated by any of it. Not the crowd, not the dual threat posed by Josef Martinez and Miguel Almiron, and most definitely not by a certain goalkeeper named Brad Guzan.

“Why not get our first win over there?” Fagundez said. “We’ve been waiting for it, and maybe this one could be special.”

It certainly could be. After hearing plenty of criticism all season about their dismal road displays, Bunbury, Fagundez, and everyone in the Revolution locker room knows there’s a simple way to table the discussion.

“As much as you don’t want to hear those things, those things are true – we need an away win in order to make the playoffs,” Bunbury said. “And this is a great time to do that.”

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