On Saturday, the Revolution will play their final home game of the season in front of what could be a record-breaking crowd at Gillette Stadium, as Didier Drogba and the Montreal Impact come to town.
Both New England and Montreal will be looking to clinch a playoff spot Saturday.
A win or tie will be enough for the Revolution to punch their ticket to the playoffs. Montreal needs a win to ensure a berth. Both teams could have clinched a spot Friday night, but Orlando City beat visiting NYCFC, 2-1.
According to Revolution president Brian Bilello, attendance Saturday could reach 40,000, which would be the largest crowd in team history. New England’s current record for a regular-season game is 39,256 for an Aug. 30, 2008, game against David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy.
“You can feel the difference when you are on the field,” said Revolution defender Jose Goncalves. “It’s extra motivation. I like to play in a stadium that’s full, packed with big ambience. It will be a really good game and I’m excited for that.”
This will be the third meeting of the season between the Eastern Conference rivals, with Montreal holding a 1-0-1 advantage. The Revolution hosted the Impact on March 21 in their home opener, playing to a 0-0 draw despite being a man up for much of the second half.
The next meeting came Sept. 19, when the Impact throttled the Revolution, 3-0, in a rain-soaked match at Montreal’s Stade Saputo, as Drogba had a goal and an assist.
Drogba was acquired by Montreal in a trade with Chicago July 27, and in nine games he has tallied a team-leading nine goals.
However, it is unclear whether Drogba will factor in Saturday’s clash. Coach Mauro Biello was cautious the last time his team played on turf, giving Drogba only 30 minutes of playing time in a 2-1 loss at Orlando City.
The Revolution are looking to clinch a playoff spot for the fourth consecutive game. After going 0-2-1 in their last three matches, they hope to find their form as the postseason approaches.
Revolution midfielders Jermaine Jones and Lee Nguyen are coming off a midweek stint with the US national team, which lost to Costa Rica, 1-0, Tuesday. Jones started but played only the first half, while Nguyen came on as a substitute for the last 18 minutes.
“This is what you play for,” said Revolution coach Jay Heaps. “We’re excited that it’s going to be a good crowd, and we want to go out there and punch our ticket.”
Dan Shulman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.