I actually did not know that the New England Revolution were on a six-game winning streak against CF Montreal Foot Clan in MLS action, including the playoffs. So yes, clearly our maple syrup is better and has been for years.
As these two teams meet again today at 730pm at Stade Saputo, it’s easy to forget that the past few years, neither New England nor Montreal have had a lot of successful seasons recently. The brief heydays of Didier Drogba, Ignacio Piatti, Lee Nguyen and Jermaine Jones led to a season or two of potential greatness before giving way to several disappointing years out of the playoffs.
The epic 2020 first round match with Gustavo Bou’s walk-off stoppage time goal might have been dramatic, but that was between the 8th and 9th best teams in the East in the expanded COVID playoffs. Hardly a testament to the potential these two teams had given the Revs’ Shield winning season of 2021 and the current second place season Montreal is having.
Montreal currently looks like they are in a strong position to make the playoffs while the Revolution look to grab a second result on a difficult and short handed Canadian road trip.
As always we chat with our good friend Saul Garcia of Mount Royal Soccer for everything about the artists formally known as the Impact. Be sure to check out their site for my answers to their questions.
CF Montréal vs New England Revolution: Scouting Intel with Bent Musket https://t.co/KZtZF3LFVb— Mount Royal Soccer (@MtRoyalSoccer) August 19, 2022
1) I don’t think the job Wilfried Nancy has done with Montreal gets talked about enough over the last two years. What’s been the key to Montreal’s success this year and how well is the team setup for a playoff run this year and for success long term?
1 Nancy has been excellent since taking over from Thierry Henry. He really has the entire team bought in and believing in his methods. A key part of that has been domestic and MLS vets being key contributors like Djordje Miahliovic, Romell Quioto and more. As far as playoffs go, the team is a bit thin depth wise, but if health holds this team is rounding into form and could be a danger to anyone once the playoffs begin. Long term the club needs just a bit more investment and getting a DP in this winter could do just that.
2) Djordje Mihailovic was playing at an MVP level before his injury midseason, how has he played since his return and do you think he can still be a finalist for MVP or maybe First Team All-MLS?
2 He’s been average since returning, but that is ok as each performance has been better than the last. That could mean his form could very well turn into that MVP caliber by the time the playoffs arrive. For awards, he did miss two months, but he should be in the conversation for First Team All-MLS at the very least.
3) You mentioned ahead of the game that Montreal doesn’t play as well at home, yet their home/away splits are nearly identical. What’s the biggest difference you see between Montreal’s play at home versus on the road?
3 It could be recency bias, the club has maintained a good record overall, but seem to lack that bite at home. The last four home matches have been one win, one loss and two draws and that drew some caution from fans/media alike. While away the team has three wins since July. Playing wise, its formation based, usually Nancy will play two strikers at home and one away and that has worked well so far.
4) One thing that would concern me in Montreal is the team’s 41 goals allowed, which is the highest of any of the current playoff teams. Why is that goal difference so low for a team with so many wins?
4 That has been a key issue, while the center backs have been about league average, the goalkeeping has not. So much so that various articles have been written about it both at the local level and up to the MLS mothership as well. That is why Montréal have been switching between two keepers as neither has hit a run of form to merit the playing time. With even average goalkeeper play, the club can really advance their play and be much stronger out in the playoffs.
Lineup: Pantemis: Camacho, Waterman, Miller: Johnston, Piette, Wanyama, Mihailovic, Lappalainen: Toye, Qioto: 3-5-2
Injuries: No severe ones, Hamdi and Johnsen are out
Prediction: 4-3, Montréal wins.