Tired legs were the downfall of the New England Revolution who fell to Montreal on Saturday night.
The 4-0 defeat was the first time that a Bruce Arena Revolution team had lost by three or more goals, and marks just their third loss in the last 18 games.
With the Revolution still hunting for a playoff spot, here are three main takeaways from the game:
The Revs Struggle in Canada
After a thrilling 2-2 result to the hands of Toronto FC Wednesday night, the Revolution had minimal turnaround time to rest and regroup for Saturday’s fixture against Montreal.
Trailing 3-0 just 55 minutes into the match, it seemed like Arena pulled the plug on the game subbing off key players like Justin Rennicks, Tommy McNamara, and Andrew Farrell.
While some of these may have just been tactical substitutions, it was clear that all the players were exhausted come the end of their individual games.
With a hard fought battle in Toronto just a few days prior, it was very clear that stopping Toronto’s Italian wave (Domenico Criscito, Federico Bernardeschi, Lorenzo Insigne) had taken its toll on the Revs. And add in the fact that the Revs were already shorthanded.
“We have a lot of guys with injuries,” Arena said. “We have guys that are back in Foxboro that should’ve been on this trip playing, and that hurts our team.”
The Revolution head home with the same amount of points from the two games, as they do new injuries.
It’s safe to say that this week’s trip to Canada is one the Revolution will want to quickly forget.
Esmir: “The Bright Spot”
After making his MLS debut against Toronto, Homegrown player Esmir Bajraktarevic was thrown into the fire against Montreal and asked to play the full 90.
While the 17 year old isn’t the biggest or strongest, his speed and technical ability are what carried him through the game.
Highlighted by a beautiful first half nutmeg, Esmir was asked to play as an attacking winger, and was a part of some very calm and composed buildup play.
“I think something I did well, especially in the first half, was finding the open spaces and playing simple,” Bajraktarevic said. “Just keeping the ball and having some good moments going forward in those 1v1s.”
Having played his first full 90 in the MLS, it may seem like the Wisconsin native has truly made a name for himself on the first team. At such a young age, this is the start of a potentially long and successful career.
“He’s got a lot to learn and to be able to play on both sides of the ball,” Arena said. “For his first full game I thought he played well so I give him a lot of credit.”
This Just Got a Whole Lot Harder
Heading into Saturday’s matchup the Revs sat 6th in the Eastern Conference, and just above the playoff line with 34 points.
However after the 4-0 setback, Arena’s men fell to 7th, and joined an even tighter grouping.
With such a limited selection of players at Arena’s disposal right now, any points during this upcoming stretch are vital.
“I give our guys credit,” Arena said. “They’ve been working through many, many weeks shorthanded. Battling everyday. Getting some results in games.”
The Revolution will look to start fresh Sunday against the LA Galaxy in Foxboro.
To read the last game recap click here.