Arena: Saturday Meeting with Columbus “Going to be Challenging”
The Revolution continue to roll in 2023 as the improved to 5-1-1 with a 4-0 shutout victory over a struggling CF Montreal team last weekend. The Revs now sit in second place in the Eastern Conference, only one point behind league-leading FC Cincinnati, with their best seven-game start since 2005. On Zolak and Bertrand this Thursday, Head Coach Bruce Arena showed pride in his team’s ability to handle their business, no matter the opponent.
“It was a good win. Montreal at this point in the season is a little down. They have some injuries, they lost some players in the offseason in the transfer market, so they weren’t on top of their game that day, but it’s still a good win,” Arena said of the team’s fourth clean-sheet performance. “In any league, whether it’s the NFL, Major League Baseball, soccer, whatever, when there’s an opportunity to grab a win, you have to get it and our guys did a good job of getting after it early in the game and securing three points, which I think was very important for us to have.”
New England was knocking on the door early against Montreal and the result was never in doubt after the 21st minute, when Dylan Borrero netted a highlight-reel goal on a rocket to the upper-right corner, his second tally of the season. Arena has been asking to see more consistency from the young Colombian attacker, and he sounds pleased with the progress thus far.
“He’s getting there, and I think the game Saturday in Columbus is going to show us a lot more,” Arena said of the 21-year-old midfielder. “He’s going to be playing on the road against really a pretty good team, and he’s going to be challenged. I’m looking forward to seeing how he stands up to the challenge Columbus presents.
“It’ll be interesting to see, but he’s grown as a player. We have to be a little bit patient, but he’s getting better.”
The Revs have dominated Eastern Conference opponents this year with four wins and a draw through five encounters, but Columbus presents a different kind of test. With an MLS-high 17 goals this season and a league-leading nine different goal scorers – one more than the Revs’ eight – the Crew are riding a three-game winning streak that has seen them outscore opponents 12 to 1.
“No question about it, it’s going to be challenging,” Arena said of Saturday’s matchup. “Obviously, the game in LA [against Los Angeles FC], I still haven’t forgotten, was really challenging. This will be the next one and it will be interesting to see what kind of progress our team has made.”
Watch Saturday’s match between the Revolution and Columbus Crew for free on the Apple TV app, in English or Spanish, or listen on 98.5 The Sports Hub with Brad Feldman and Charlie Davies on the call.