Foxborough, MA – The Montreal Impact would love to improve their playoff footing with three points on Sunday, but that is a tall order given the fact that they will be taking on the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium.
Montreal enters Sunday's clash sitting just five points shy of the final playoff spot, well within touching distance with 35 points on the season.
But it would take a brave man to bet on the Impact to claim a positive result in Foxborough, even against a Revolution squad that has not won since a 2-0 defeat of Red Bull New York on July 8.
Montreal is 1-10-1 away from home in its debut season in MLS, perhaps overshadowed by its sixth-place position in the Eastern Conference table.
Despite claiming a 2-0 win over the Philadelphia Union in their last outing, the Impact's last road result was a 3-0 loss to the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Impact have not taken points from an away match since defeating Sporting Kansas City 2-0 on May 5, a victory that is looking more and more like a fluke with every passing road affair.
To make matters worse for Montreal, the club will be without defender Nelson Rivas, who picked up a red card in the Union defeat for head-butting Antoine Hoppenot. The MLS Disciplinary Committee suspended Rivas an additional two matches for the incident, meaning he will be banned for a total of three games.
"In general, Nelson is an intimidating defender," Impact head coach Jesse Marsch said. "So as a starting point, I don't think he needs to respond like that to show how physically intimidating he is. All competitive players have moments when they, for a moment, lose it or feel like they're not going to back down."
What does bode well for Montreal is the fact that New England is reeling.
The Revs saw their winless run extended to five games after falling to Sporting, 1-0, at home last weekend.
"We're all disappointed. There's nothing really to say at this point. It was a sub par performance all around," said defender Chris Tierney. "We didn't create too many chances and the few that we did we couldn't put away. So it's disappointing. At home we expect three points and we didn't get it."
Sunday's clash is the second of three meetings between the two clubs this season. Montreal won the previous tilt 2-1 at the Stade Saputo on July 18.