MONTREAL – Will Didier Drogba experience a potential history-making night in Foxborough?
According to a tweet by New England Revolution president Brian Bilello, the Revs could set a club regular-season attendance record this Saturday night, when they face the Montreal Impact at Gillette Stadium (7:30 pm ET, TSN2 in Canada, MLS LIVE in US) in a matchup with big repercussions above the red line. What remains to be seen is whether the visitors’ hottest player will contribute toward giving the fans their money’s worth.
The Impact technical staff will wait until after their Friday training session, in Massachusetts, before deciding on whether Drogba will play on the Gillette Stadium artificial turf, Impact interim head coach Mauro Biello said on Thursday afternoon.
“We’ll see,” Biello told reporters. ”Once again, we’ve playing on an artificial field. But we'll make that decision tomorrow, after training.”
Drogba, 37, didn’t start the last game that Montreal played on turf, only coming on as a substitute in the 59th minute of a 2-1 defeat at Orlando City SC that also had tremendous implications on the race for an Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs spot. A crowd of 35,421 rocked the Citrus Bowl for that one, while more than 40,000 could join in on the fun at Gillette.
And yet Saturday’s game may not even be a playoff clincher for Montreal and New England. Orlando could clinch their spot for them if they fail to win against New York City FC on Friday.
But both teams are already looking beyond merely securing a spot. Montreal, for instance, could leapfrog the Revs, dumping them to fifth place – or maybe even sixth place, depending on the result of the afternoon game between Toronto FC and Columbus Crew SC.
- Check out more Montreal news at ImpactMontreal.com
“We see the standings and how everyone’s so close,” Biello said. “We saw Toronto yesterday. With a win, they’re in second place. It’s the same for us: We have two important games. [Saturday is] a game against a team ahead of us, and we’d especially like to try and surpass them in the standings. I know it’s going to be tough. It’s a good team that holds the ball well. It'll be a good game for us. We're looking for a good performance.”
To ensure that Montreal are fully focused on the Revs, the Impact staff scheduled Friday’s session at 5 pm and a team dinner right after training, overlapping the Orlando-NYCFC game, Biello quipped. Forward Dominic Oduro, for his part, offered that “pretty much everybody” would watch the game at the hotel anyway, but he insisted that the team will refrain from focusing on that game alone.
“We have to focus on what we’re doing, especially to prepare for Saturday,” Oduro said. “It’d be great for us if we clinched by Friday, but at the end of the day, we just have to think about playing New England and fighting for our spot.”