By Danny Picard
With only eight matches left on their regular-season schedule, the New England Revolution find themselves on the outside looking in at the MLS playoff picture.
And just as Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis pointed out after last weeks SuperLiga Finals loss to Monarcas Morelia, New England will have to win more than just a majority of their games down the stretch.
The Revolution (7-12-3) are currently in sixth place (out of eight) in the Eastern Conference standings with 24 points. Thats eight points out of a postseason berth.
Luckily, for the Revs, their next opponent is the last-place team in the Western Conference. New England travels to California to take on Chivas USA (6-12-4, 22 points) on Friday night.
It marks the beginning of a three-game road trip that could either make or break their season. Following Fridays match with Chivas, the Revs head to Colorado to take on the Rapids next weekend, and then play in Dallas a week from Wednesday.
The trip should be somewhat concerning to New England, mainly because Steve Nicols squad hasnt fared well on the road against Western Conference teams. And all three opponents on the upcoming road trip are just that.
The Revs have posted a 3-6-2 record against Western Conference teams this season. And while those three wins have come in their last three games against teams in the West, theyve all come while at the comforts of Gillette Stadium, leaving them with an 0-4-0 record on the road against the West.
The good news is, the Revolution enter that three-game road trip with some momentum, after defeating Seattle Sounders FC, 3-1, last Saturday night at Gillette Stadium. It marked their first win since Aug. 14, and the first time they scored more than one goal since a 2-0 win over the Los Angeles Galaxy, back on July 10.
In case youre not counting, thats 12 consecutive games with only one goal or less. If the Revs can continue to get production from guys like Marko Perovic, Kheli Dube, and Chris Tierney (the three Revs players who scored on Saturday against Seattle), then its possible that New England could be involved in a serious playoff race when it returns home in late September.
Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard