FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – When New England take on Toronto FC on Saturday (12:30 pm ET, watch live online), they hope to take advantage of Toronto's midweek success.
TFC booked a place in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals with a 3-0 victory at FC Dallas on Tuesday. In the wake of the Reds' unprecedented victory, the Revs feel they may have caught Toronto at the perfect time to secure a season-ending victory.
“Dallas is a tough place to play and they've had to travel as well, which isn't easy,” Revolution midfielder Pat Phelan told MLSsoccer.com. “I'm sure they're flying high a little. Hopefully, they're a little overconfident seeing us at the bottom of the table. I'm sure they're thinking that's the team you want to be playing in your final home game. Hopefully, we can use that to our advantage, go up there and steal three points.”
As Real Salt Lake revealed after their Champions League disappointment against Monterrey earlier this season and Seattle showed in the match after their Lamar Hunt US Open Cup win earlier this month, external results can impact a side's immediate MLS form.
New England boss Steve Nicol said the Reds could use their triumph at Pizza Hut Park to push onward through their final match of the season or slide into an approach that isn't conducive to collecting all three points.
“They've had a big game and they've done well,” Nicol said. “They'll either kick on and use that to try to do well Saturday or they'll still be wallowing in the glory and it'll affect them. We'll see which one it is.”
Nicol once again reinforced his side's need to focus on its own performance in the buildup to the match. With likely starters Diego Fagundez (concussion), Matt Reis (hamstring) and A.J. Soares (ankle surgery) all ruled out of the match, the Revs must once again commit earnestly to cutting out the errors that have marred their season and shoring up their efforts in all departments.
Such measures may seem superfluous with just one match left to play in this difficult season, but Phelan said he and his teammates are motivated to finish the season on a positive note against TFC.
“I think a lot of guys have been saying it the past couple of weeks, [we are] playing for pride [and] playing for jobs,” Phelan said. “Even when your back is not against the wall, you should be playing for those things. You're getting paid to play. Go out there and perform.”