Apart from chasing the pipe dream of an 11-goal victory to clinch a playoff berth, the New England Revolution had little but pride to play for on Sunday night in Foxboro.
It would seem they have more than a little pride within them. New England came out firing and beat up the visiting Montreal Impact by a score of 3-0, a victory margin that could easily have been even bigger.
A near-record crowd of 39,587 were on hand to see it.
New England was strong out of the gate, and the breakthrough came in the 13th minute courtesy of local boy Diego Fagundez. The Leominster man earned a free kick at the top corner outside the box, and he took the dead ball himself, whipping and curling a terrific shot off the far post and in.
Juan Agudelo was the man to finally double the Revs' advantage, and it happened in the 60th minute. Agudelo took a feed from Scott Caldwell and skipped left across the top of the box. Curiously, the Impact defense seemed to melt away from him, and he was given the time to set up a left-footed shot and drilled it to Evan Bush's right for the second goal.
The Revs were in no mood to sit back, even if scoring enough goals to make up the goal difference deficit for a playoff berth was unrealistic at best. Fagundez drove into the heart of the Montreal defense and touched the ball to the right for Kei Kamara, who ripped a low shot past Bush to make it 3-0.
Throughout the match, the Revs had numerous opportunities to bang in more goals. Kamara alone hit the woodwork twice, and there were several other near-misses and close calls. Truly, the Revs could have had a 6-0 or 7-0 win and it would have been no less than they deserved.
Cody Cropper also showed well in his first MLS start, earning a shutout. The former USA youth international looked bored in the first half, but he opened up the second half with a couple of smart saves, showcasing quick reflexes to bat away a David Choiniere missile headed for the top corner in the 48th minute, and demonstrating range by scrambling to his right and saving a low volley in the 57th minute.
The Revs finish the 2016 season in seventh place, out of the playoffs, and level on points with sixth-placed Philadelphia at 42. Philadelphia wins the tie-breaker based on goal difference.