The MLS playoffs loom as the season turns to fall. On Sunday night, the New England Revolution increased their chances of making the postseason when they downed Toronto FC 3-1. It's a good result for the Revs, but what did we learn?
1. Teal Bunbury works well with Jermaine Jones. A Toronto FC player might have scored the Revolution’s first goal, but there’s no doubt that Bunbury was a huge reason that it occurred. The speedy midfielder is a nightmare for defenders, especially when Jones is behind him pinging diagonal balls. If it weren’t for a poor passing night (he finished with 45% accuracy) and another solid performance from Kelyn Rowe, Bunbury would be an automatic starter for the final stretch of the season. It appears, however, that the competition is still open.
2. This game felt like playoff prep. Sunday’s win wasn’t pretty, but it got the job done. The Revs scored three goals on the road while withstanding a barrage of shots from Toronto. The game wasn’t a ringing endorsement for the Revs but it was the type of performance that could translate into a solid playoff run. In fact, the Revolution’s previous two matches looked like playoff prep. First, the Revs grinded out a 1-0 road win over the Philadelphia Union. They then returned home and put up three against an ultra-defensive Orlando City. The playoffs are a wild, unpredictable beast, but recent results might be an indicator that the Revs are ready.
3. Sebastian Giovinco deserves to be MVP. If Giovinco’s 17 goals and 13 assists aren’t enough to convince you that he should be the league's MVP, take a look at the skill he exhibits on a weekly basis. The Italian midfielder is, simply put, dangerous. Perhaps most amazing is the fact that he can perform magical moments (such as the consecutive nutmegs on Scott Caldwell and Andrew Farrell) by himself. There are some skilled players on Toronto’s multi-million dollar roster, but if the Reds make the playoffs for the first time in club history, they will have done so on the strength of Giovinco.