The month of October was the most crucial the New England Revolution have experienced in the entire existence of this blog. They needed to turn in a stellar run of form to earn a postseason berth, and in fact they did just that. A gut-wrenching, referee-influenced draw in New York was followed by an improbable away win over Montreal and back-to-back victories against Columbus, propelling the Revs all the way to third place in the East.
Performances throughout the month varied. Several players put together great runs of form, but everyone on the pitch at any given time could also be considered culpable for the odd blunder or nervy moment. One man stood out, however, standing tall in the back and steadfastly refusing the ball entry to the back of the net. It was his play that kept two teams scoreless and secured needed points both at home and away. The player of the month for October simply must be Matt Reis.
Reis' stellar season numbers can likely be recited by any New England fan from memory at this point, but October is the truly remarkable part of his run. He conceded four goals in four matches with two shutouts. It took the unholy intervention of Fotis Bazakos to allow the second goal in New York; arguably, Reis should have ended the regular season on a four match winning streak. He's displayed cat-like reflexes that defy his age, but more importantly, his composure and ability to command his area has been increasingly evident as the stakes get higher. With the highest recorded point total ever seen in this TBM feature, Reis was our writers' unanimous pick for the month of October.
Jake: It's hard not to give him credit for the end of the season run as a whole, particularly the final three wins in which he and the defense posted two shutouts. Going back to August when he was reinstated to the starting spot, the Revs have only lost two games: the game he was red carded against Montreal 5 minutes in and the next game when the referees forgot the offside rule in Chicago while he was suspended. And the Revs are back in the playoffs with a chance to get their veteran keeper that elusive MLS Cup he's been chasing for far too long.
Nick: To step in after the early-season circumstances Reis endured - and solidify a defense that tailed off in September - is nothing short of remarkable. The aging vet posted a pair of October shutouts, cooly and confidently commanding his back line. It seemed routine to write off Reis over the summer; he has consistently proved doubters wrong.
Matty: The Revs were stoic down the stretch, and their keeper had a massive part in their spectacular finish. When the team needed a calm, steady hand at the back, the veteran Reis rose to the occasion and led the Revs to their first playoff berth in four years.
Corey: Something about Reis late in a season always makes me think that he's still got like 5 more years in him. The dude stepped up big time when Bobby hit his midseason slump and the vet hasnt let up since. He was statistically phenomenal in October and showed a calm, experienced demeanor throughout - something we really needed.
Reis' Line: 4 appearances, 4 starts, 4 GA, 12 saves, 1.00 GAA, 368 minutes*, 21 Points in TBM PotM Voting
Diego Fagundez, 9 points: You can't teach instincts. His off the ball movement is what makes him so different. Last year when stuck up top in a hold up role we rarely got see how good he can be when he has space to pass and move. He shows up in the right place at incredibly crucial times. His goal in New York showed his grit and the game winner at home against Columbus is why we are here. Diego '2020 after Reis in '2016 passes an amendment so he can be President. - Brendan
Andy Dorman, 5 points: Washed up? No. Too old? No. He started off the month with a red card, and ended it as a hero. His last two games in October prove that he still has it. Set up 3 goals against Columbus and then showed he is still a viable option either in a box-to-box or more defensive role. - Abram
The Player of the Month is compiled by members of The Bent Musket's staff. Each writer selects his top three Revolution players for the month, who are assigned point values - three points for the #1, two for the #2, and one for the #3. Then, points are totaled and the player who received the most points in the voting is named Player of the Month. Honorable mentions go to the next two players in the voting.
More from The Bent Musket:
- The 3rd Yellow - Revs vs. Sporting KC, MLS Playoffs Eastern Conference Semis First Leg - Elfath Can't Keep Control in 2nd Half
- Kelyn Rowe Rows the Boat in First-Leg Win over Sporting KC
- Revolution 2-1 Sporting: Player Ratings and Man of the Match
- Revolution 2-1 Sporting KC: The Controversy of Andy Dorman's Goal
- Revolution 2-1 Sporting: New England Takes One-Goal Advantage to Kansas City for Second Leg