The 2018 New England Revolution season has been up and down. New coach Brad Friedel’s influence combined with some overachieving has seen the Revolution sitting in 5th place in the Eastern Conference for most of the season. However, a three game losing streak has them teetering on the edge of the red line in playoff position. A bye week allows the Revolution to prepare for the stretch run of the season. August feels crucial to their playoff prospects.
The Revolution have four games in August, all against Eastern conference opposition. First they have Orlando City, then the Philadelphia Union, then DC United, and finally a rematch against the Union. Only one of these games (August 11th vs. Philly) is at home. Realistically, the Revolution need to win at least 2 or 3 of these to think about making the playoffs.
Why are these games so important? First, the Revolution need points now. Stopping their three game swoon would create positive momentum. A winning streak in the dog days of summer might even dispel the bogey man of the Revolution’s previous summer struggles. Second, all these games are against beatable teams near the Revolution in the standings. Philadelphia is a mere point behind New England, while Orlando City are six points adrift. DC United are dead last in the conference but have four games in hand on New England. Win those and they are back in the playoff mix.
These games have greater import because of the difficulty of the Revolution’s schedule down the stretch. 8 of their last 13 games are on the road and after August the quality of opposition goes up dramatically. They face NYCFC, LAFC, and Atlanta United in the final two months of the season all away from home. Given current form it is difficult to seeing them getting a result in any of those locales. Three or four wins in August would provide a cushion to survive the buzzsaw final months of the season.
Can they do it?
Until recent weeks the transition under Friedel had brought about lots of excitement and hope among most Revolution supporters. Their high press has not always worked but it has certainly been entertaining to watch. The first losing streak of the season has dampened a lot of this hope. All season returning to the playoffs has been the expectation. This is now in doubt.
August gives reason to hope. A winning streak with multiple wins away from home would be a huge psychological boost to any club but doubly so for a team that has two road wins in the last two seasons. With new signing Cristhian Machado on board and a two week break, the Revolution should have the gas in the tank to right the ship and finish the season in a playoff position. Should they falter in August however the many positives of Friedel’s turnaround will come under significant doubts.
Main Photo Credit:
Embed from Getty Images