With just seven games left on the schedule, the Revolution’s playoff push has entered a vital stage where virtually every contest is a must-win. On Wednesday night, they will look to do something they haven’t done all season when they pay their first-ever visit to Atlanta United: win on the road.
New England is the only team in MLS without a road victory, posting a paltry 0-10-3 mark away from home, with a minus-18 goal differential. The Revolution will be just the second opponent to visit brand-new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
“It’s going to require a good mentality,” said midfielder Scott Caldwell. “Kind of a togetherness that we show at home. If we’re bringing it all together and working for one another and proving how important these games are, that’s the best we’ll be able to do.”
Atlanta United finalized its move out of Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium Sunday by taking the field against FC Dallas in front of a crowd of 45,314. Atlanta dominated from start to finish, dismantling a struggling Dallas team, 3-0.
The expansion United pose the biggest threat to the Revolution’s playoff hopes. Sitting just above the red line in sixth place with 39 points, Atlanta holds a 4-point lead over New England with two games in hand.
“I think, for us, we’re just in playoff mode right now,” said Revolution forward Teal Bunbury. “All our games we have to consider playoff games, essentially like knockout games, because we need to win as many as we can.”
New England will look again for a big performance from Lee Nguyen, who ranks second in MLS with 14 assists. The midfielder also has nine goals, including the game-winner in last Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Montreal.
The Revolution have won two straight heading into Wednesday night’s game, while Atlanta is coming off its first victory since July 21.
Atlanta has a rigorous schedule ahead, with seven games in the next three weeks; however, six of those matches come at home.
The Revolution also will be busy through the end of the month, with five more games.
The Revolution will have to find a way to limit Atlanta’s talented front four, which features two of the league’s leading assist-getters, Migule Almiron and Yamil Asad. Double-digit goal scorers Josef Martinez and Hector Villalba complete the quartet.
In its only other matchup with an expansion team this season, New England fared well, defeating Minnesota United, 5-2, in March.Dan Shulman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; Follow him on Twitter @GlobeDanShulman