The last time the Revolution were victorious in Montreal, they were starting a coaching search after concluding a second successive year out of playoff contention. It was October 2017, and the Revolution considered hiring Bruce Arena, who had resigned from the US national team, but they opted for Brad Friedel. Two years later, Arena replaced Friedel, and the Revolution have been mostly winning since.
The Revolution (19-4-5, 62 points), who are on pace to set several league records, have a five-game unbeaten streak going into a visit to CF Montreal Wednesday. They have compiled a team-record 8-3-3 road mark, and since Arena’s arrival in 2019, they are 19-11-9 on the road, four more wins than any other MLS team.
“We’re not troubled by going into other venues,” Arena said this week. “We always have a good approach to the game.
“I think when you go on the road, you have to have the right mentality, and our guys certainly have that. We actually, at times, look forward to playing on the road, so I think that’s part of the reason we’ve been successful.”
The Revolution’s road success also derives from emphasizing offense. They seldom retreat into a shell, preferring to go on the attack, no matter the venue or circumstances. They lead the league in away goals, outscoring the opposition, 25-18, in 14 games, and have converted the go-ahead goal from the 83rd minute on in five road matches.
In the Revolution’s last away game, Carles Gil’s 91st-minute score made the difference in a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Fire last Wednesday.
The Revolution have produced several dramatic finishes this season, going 16-2-0 in one-goal games. On Saturday, they held off Orlando City SC, 2-1, as Matt Turner made a 75th-minute penalty-kick save. Their 2-1 victory over Montreal July 25 was preserved in stoppage time only after Scott Caldwell headed away a free kick and a goal was disallowed for being offside.
“We need to keep raising our level and pushing ourselves and wanting to get 3 points, but also playing well and finishing games off in the right way,” Revolution midfielder Matt Polster said. “I think there’s certain moments when we could make it a little easier on ourselves towards the end of matches — you know, being up an extra goal 3-1 or at times maybe even 4-1.
“It gets a little chaotic at the end and nervy at times, but the group has always stepped up in those moments.’’
The Revolution expect a challenging matchup in midfield against Montreal (10-9-7, 37 points), going against Canadian national teamer Samuel Piette and former Tottenham star Victor Wanyama.
“They have good players — Wanyama, Piette, [Djordje] Mihailovic — all very good on the ball, technical players,” Polster said. “They understand the game really, really well.
“I think if we can dominate the midfield a little bit, win second balls, win tackles, it puts pressure on them to find ways to win the game in other ways.”
After Wednesday, the Revolution will be off for 17 days during an international break. They are three wins and 10 points shy of league records with six games left. They are 8 points short of clinching the Eastern Conference title and already are assured of at least one home date in the postseason.
“I think we need to get better over the next six weeks before the playoffs start, so that’s very important,” Arena said. “I think you can use that time to get rested and also work on some things that are important for your team.
“I think the break in November will be challenging for all the teams, but this one I think we can play through, and I do see most of the league is playing through this international window and we are not. But I think it comes at a good time for us.”