The New England Revolution had a 2017 first on Saturday – they won an away game.
For the first time this year. On the last day of the season. In the last minute of the game.
Montreal thought they would escape with a draw after substitute Matteo Mancosu scored a 90th minute equalizer, but Rowe, himself a substitute stunned the home side with nearly the final kick of the game deep into stoppage time.
Neither team was in postseason contention, so the result had little effect on the final league standings or the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs. There was, however plenty at stake for both sides: New England didn't want to finish a season without a road win for the first time in team history; the match also served as a final look at the current squad ahead of likely wholesale changes ahead of next season, which includes the appointment of a new head coach. The Impact, however, were hoping to send off captain and talisman Bernier in style, as the Canadian international is set to retire at season's end after 151 games played for Montreal; Bernier, substituted in the 81st minute, was given a warm reception from the home crowd upon leaving the field for the final time.
- 19' – NE – Diego FagundezWatch
- 45'+3' – MTL – Patrice BernierWatch
- 46' – NE – Krisztian NemethWatch
- 90' – MTL – Matteo MancusoWatch
- 90'+9' – NE – Kelyn RoweWatch
- A DUBIOUS HISTORY AVOIDED: The 2017 New England Revolution were most definitely a team of extremes. They won a team-record 12 games at home. But until Saturday afternoon, had yet to score a road win. Never in team history had the Revs been unable to get maximum points at least once. And while New England led for most of the day, Montreal scored a late equalizer and it appeared the win wouldn't come. But then Kelyn Rowe waltzed towards goal and looped a shot over Montreal goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau.
- A CAPTAIN SAYS GOODBYE: Patrice Bernier has been the face of the Montreal Impact since their inaugural MLS season in 2012. He has played 151 games and logged over 10,000 minutes. Fittingly, when Montreal was awarded a penalty in first-half stoppage time, he was handed the ball and duly converted. Hopefully the sour defeat late in extra time at the end of a disappointing season won't obstruct a colossal career, and given the reception he received upon his late substitution, it doesn't appear it will. It's just too bad he didn't go out with a win.
- SOMETHING HAS TO GIVE: Don't be surprised if we see wholesale changes to both of these teams ahead of 2018. New England needs a new coach. They have a handful of key players out of contract and on loan. It is yet to be seen whether they will be able to retain their core talent. Montreal on the other hand, simply fell apart in the home stretch, losing 9-of-10 during the run in. They were primed for a playoff spot before that skid. They have solid young talent, but also aging stars, and little in between. A handful of smart signings will go a long way for a team that has been in regression mode since peaking during the 2015 season.
- MTL: End of Season
- NE: End of Season