FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Every aspect of New England's first trip to Montreal on Wednesday night (8 pm ET, watch LIVE online) will provide a new experience for the Revolution.
In a league where players tend to linger and secrets are hard to keep, the trip to Stade Saputo represents a particularly awkward proposition, simply because the Revs have never played a competitive match against the Impact.
“It makes it a little bit more difficult because we don't know exactly how they will play,” Revolution midfielder Benny Feilhaber told MLSsoccer.com. “In that sense, we're not used to them from last year's games [like other matches] against the teams we've played against before. It'll be a little bit different, but I'm sure we'll have the right tactical scheme when Jay [Heaps, Revolution coach] gives it to us.”
As Feilhaber and Heaps both noted, the Impact aren't exactly an unknown quantity. Plenty of tapes exist to reveal how the Impact likes to play and what head coach Jesse Marsch's side will try to do when the first whistle blows.
The entire picture – one altered by the recent arrival of striker Marco Di Vaio and shaped by a raft of defensive injuries – continues to change as the expansion side enters the second half of its first MLS campaign, according to Heaps.
“In the games I've seen Montreal play and, recently, in the last few I've scouted, they're evolving,” Heaps said. “They've become more and more difficult to play. They've won big games on the road. They've won huge games at home. They're a tough team. That's the way I'd put it. We have to be respectful of that, but we have to make sure we go in there and have our tough mindset going into it.”
For all of the talk about a first date against the Impact and a potential first victory on Canadian soil (0-2-5 all-time), the Revs plan to focus less on the peculiarities of this particular task and more on the duties they need to fulfill in order to claim their second road win of the season.
“We will adapt and do what we can to counter what they bring at us, but, ultimately, I think Jay will tell you it'll be about us and how we dictate the game and what we bring to it,” Revolution forward Blake Brettschneider said.