Revs sole focus is securing playoff spot

Revs sole focus is securing playoff spot
October 19, 2013, 11:45 pm
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Diego Fagundez celebrates his goal against Toronto FC.

(USA Today Sports Images)

FOXBORO -- The fans screamed out their names, arms outstretched over the barriers as they anxiously sought autographs and chances to meet face-to-face. The New England Revolution ran off the field toward an open space at Gillette Stadium and into a sea of soccer enthusiasts who were eagerly waiting to greet their playoff-contending home team.

"Juan!!" the crowd bellowed as Juan Agudelo approached the group. Minutes later, fans both at field level and on a walkway above erupted as game-winning goal scorer Diego Fagundez made his way over. Playoff fever was alive and kicking in Foxboro.

On Saturday night the Revolution moved back into playoff position with a 3-2 win over the Columbus Crew. They will head to Columbus next weekend for their final game of the regular season to face the same team with the same objective in mind: lock up a postseason berth.

"We all know we want to make the playoffs," said Fagundez. "There's no doubt that any player in there (doesn't) know the number one thing is making the playoffs. We need one more point and we play them again so we're going to have to go there and fight them again."

The Revolution are looking to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2009. A.J. Soares, who scored his first goal of the season in the game, has noticed a new  attitude in the locker room than past seasons.

"We haven't been in the postseason hunt my first two years here, so it's a different feeling, the locker room's got a different vibe," he explained. "Everyone's fresh, we've got a lot of energy, it's a great group of guys this year. Everyone's resilient, everyone works hard for the group. No one has a bad attitude and it's pretty incredible to be in a locker room with that kind of group."

Resilient is one way to describe the Revolution's ability to overcome significant voids. On Saturday they played without Saer Sene, who suffered a season-ending leg injury last weekend, and Lee Nguyen, who was serving a yellow card suspension.

"Going into the game, we knew we had to kind of fight for everything and it wasn't going to be a pretty game," said Andy Dorman (assist on Fagundez goal). "It turned out that way and everyone's attitude was spot on. Everyone in the squad has been training well all week, making it hard for the guys that were starting …  Lee was suspended and Saer (had an) injury, so I guess it was a bit of inspiration for us as well."

The packs of fans could still be heard cheering as the Revolution ran back to the locker room. It was the kind of noise that was hard to ignore, one the Revs look to hear again in the postseason.

"It's the kind of group that deserves to be pushing for the playoffs," Soares said of his team. "We've got to go to Columbus next week and win, so we're focused."