The Montreal Impact will attempt to turn around their season as they begin a three-game home stand Saturday, but they couldn’t have asked for a worse opponent. Montreal (1-6-4, 7 points) will host the Eastern Conference-leading Revolution at 7 p.m.
The Revolution (7-3-2, 23 points) have not lost in their last seven games. They have won their last five, by a combined score of 16-5.
Montreal has had the complete opposite luck on the pitch, having won just one of its last six games, and it owns the worst record in MLS.
Despite their opponents’ season-long struggles, the Revolution are not taking the Impact lightly.
“Montreal is a good team,” said defender Chris Tierney. “It’s the same team that put together a really solid run last year. They’ve got plenty of dangerous players and we’re going to have to go to their place, which is a tough place to play.”
The Impact’s attack is arguably the team’s strongest asset, led by Marco Di Vaio. The former Bologna forward scored 20 goals last season, and he has new help up front after his team acquired Jack McInerney from Philadelphia April 4. McInerney has scored two goals since joining the Impact and tallied 12 in 2013 with the Union.
Tierney said the defense will be on the lookout for a noted tactic of the Impact.
“They’re always playing that offsides line, and all it takes is one small mistake and they’re right on goal,” said the longest-tenured Revolution member. “We’ll have to be fully focused for 90 minutes and make sure we take care of business.”
All three of the Revolution’s losses this season have come away from Gillette Stadium, but they have won their last two meetings in Montreal, each by a score of 1-0.
“We’re not expecting to go there and win, 5-0,” said Tierney. “It’s going to be a tough game for us and we’re going to have to have our best stuff to come out with a result.”
A five-goal output is not an impossible task for this offense, however. Forward Patrick Mullins has scored in each of the last four games, tying the MLS rookie record set by former Chicago forward Damani Ralph in 2003.
Mullins isn’t the only young attacker contributing to the offensive outburst, as 19-year-old Diego Fagundez has tallied four goals and two assists in the last three games.
“We can see that we are very confident playing forward,” said defender Jose Goncalves. “Attacking, we have a lot of guys who are scoring goals. It’s very good for the team.”
The team captain returned from a right quad injury last Saturday, helping the Revolution down D.C. United, 2-1.
“It’s going to be a tough game because they are last in the Eastern Conference,” said Goncalves. “Obviously they want to change that and win points, and they want to start winning points on Saturday.
“We are ready to play our game, you know. Hopefully we’ll play well and get the 3 points.”Alex Hall can be reached at email@example.com. You can follow him on Twitter @AlexKHall