"A long way to go": Shield-leading New England Revolution staying humble

The New England Revolution are showing no signs of slowing down from a record-breaking pace.

After trouncing FC Cincinnati 4-1 on Saturday, the club celebrated a nine-point week by extending their winning streak to four straight matches and their winless run to nine matches.

The Revs are seven points clear of the Seattle Sounders in the Supporters’ Shield standings and are averaging 2.23 points per game. Their 49 points through 22 matches are tied for most in league history at this juncture with LAFC's 2019 squad that set an MLS record with a 72-point Shield-winning season. And that team averaged 2.12 points per game.

With records coming into view, New England are keeping their focus on each match as it arrives rather than the broader scope.

“You don’t look at the big picture,” midfielder Scott Caldwell said. “You try to get three points and then move on from there. I think everyone has pushed really hard and done a great job of performing when they’re on the field. It’s gone really well and we just have to continue that. There’s still a long way to go.”

The Revs came out of the gate strong – a 2-0 defeat at Nashville SC was their only loss in the first 10 games – by accumulating 23 total points. In contrast, New England were 2-3-5 in their opening 10 matches of 2020 and 2-6-2 in 2019.

“We did so well to start the year and we’ve been able to ride that wave and continue the momentum and push forward,” Caldwell said. “Everyone has helped each other out on and off the field. It’s been a really good year so far, but like I said, a long way to go and just going to continue to support each other as a team.”

Revs boss Bruce Arena said that banking maximum points right now is key, because the season's stretch drive will likely be even more challenging.

“Anytime you win a game in this league, it’s big,” Arena said. “I think, at this time of year, it’s important to get the points in the bank, because as we get down to the last 10 games of the season, it’s going to be crazy with teams fighting for playoff positions and it’s going to be really challenging.”

Each season's Shield winner is the club that's most consistent throughout the regular season. Nobody has done that better than the Revs in 2021, but Arena warns there’s bound to be a drop in form at some point, which is another reason why accumulating as many points as possible right now is critical.

“There haven’t been too many at this point,” Arena said. “However, one would think that there are going be some down the road.”