The New England Revolution all but sealed their fate with the club’s 1-0 loss to CF Montreal. The Revs postseason chances are slimmer than a Slim Jim with two games left in the regular season.
After the loss to Montreal, New England is now in 11th place in the Eastern Conference and remains three points out of a playoff spot. With a win tomorrow, the Columbus Crew could move six points up on the Revolution with a game in hand.
Head coach and sporting director Bruce Arena said that New England needs to assess the results of this past week before determining how they will approach the end of the regular season.
“Well, I think we have to see after the weekend where everything stands,” he said. “Oddly enough, not a whole lot of teams are making any headway above us right now, so there’s still something there, but we’ll get through the weekend and see where we stand with everything. If we are not in position to have a miraculous recovery with six points, it would position us possibly for the playoffs, maybe we’ll make a couple of changes the last couple of games. We just have to see where we are.”
For defender Jon Bell, it’s all about ending the season on a strong note, preferably with some wins.
“Just finish strong, you know, for guys who have something to prove,” Bell said. “Whether it’s just contracts or, whatever. You want to prove yourself, you’ve got two games to do it. So, that’s what I’m going to do if I get that chance, and I’m sure everybody else is. We don’t want to go out as losers. We want to win each game that’s possible.”
Bell will be looking to earn himself a spot on New England’s roster for next season. With the expansion draft taking place in November, the Revolution will need to decide who is worth protecting and who can afford to be lost.
Bell got his third start in the last four games. With Arena trotting the defender at left back, he has shown his offensive prowess and even netted a goal. Still there were times defensively where the Revs II product had poor positioning and communication in his new but also old position.
So while the Revolution’s playoff hopes are dashed, these last two games could have a major impact on what the roster looks like next season. New England will assess players’ roles on the team and see if they belong in the squad.
After presumably missing the playoffs, the Revs clearly have to make some changes if they want to return to the postseason or possibly contend for an MLS Cup. These last two games could highlight exactly what moves need to be made.