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Home victory over Union would boost Revolution as they aim for a top-four spot in the playoffs

Revolution coach Bruce Arena said his players will have to pay attention to details if they are to defeat the Philadelphia Union Monday at Gillette Stadium, where they are 1-2-5 this season.
Revolution coach Bruce Arena said his players will have to pay attention to details if they are to defeat the Philadelphia Union Monday at Gillette Stadium, where they are 1-2-5 this season.Steven Senne/Associated Press

The Revolution are 3-1-2 in their last six matches and have picked up at least a point in 13 of 17 games since MLS resumed play in July following its coronavirus shutdown. The run has lifted them into fifth place in the Eastern Conference, good for a first-round bye in the playoffs. The team has something to straighten out before the season draws to a close, though: It has won only one game at home all season.

The Revolution are 1-2-5 at Gillette Stadium (6-2-2 away from home), putting them in a tie for fewest home wins among Eastern Conference clubs. No other team currently in playoff position has fewer than three home wins.

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“We’ve struggled with that all year,” said Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner on Saturday. “We’ll definitely look to get into better form at Gillette, and mix in a win, mix in some good results.”

They’ll have a golden chance to bolster their home record and beat a strong contender in the East when they host the Philadelphia Union on Monday in Foxborough. The Union (10-3-5) are second in the East, 3 points behind first-place Toronto FC and 7 points ahead of New England. They hold the best goal differential in the conference (+16).

It will be important for the team to bust out of its Foxborough slump, because Turner said the Revolution are gunning for a top-four spot in the playoffs, which would come with a home playoff game.

“We want to host a playoff game. We’re looking to right the ship in that sense,” he said.

Turner has six shutouts in 17 games this season, including a clean sheet against Philadelphia on Aug. 20.

The Revolution are 3 points behind fourth-place Orlando City SC with five games left in the season.

The Revolution and Union already have met three times this season, all coming after the July restart. The Union lead the season series, 2-0-1. The most recent meeting was a wrenching loss for New England, which played much of the second half with 10 men before Philadelphia’s Anthony Fontana scored in stoppage time to secure a 2-1 victory.

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Coach Bruce Arena said attention to detail will be paramount if his team is to get its first win over Philadelphia.

“In the three games we’ve played this year, you could argue that Philadelphia’s been a little bit better in that regard,” Arena said.

Turner added: “It’s just small details, who’s going to step up mentally, who’s going to limit the amount of mistakes they make technically.”

The Revolution are coming off a win over the ninth-place Montreal Impact on Wednesday. Arena made eight substitutions in the game, and on Saturday he said he’s prioritizing keeping his players fresh down the stretch run of the season.

“I think the team we put on the field Monday is going to be fairly rested because of that,” Arena said. “Hopefully it’ll help us down this important stretch.”