Revolution hoping to finally find team's identity — and a first playoff win since 2014 — against Montreal

And with the blessing of ownership, Arena brought in multiple “Designated Players” (whose salaries are allowed to circumvent MLS cap restrictions, enabling teams to sign higher-profile talents).

For the first time in team history, the Revolution filled the maximum number of designated player roster spots (three), and looked poised to build on the potential 2019 had hinted at.

Arena and New England’s front office also proved adept in handling crises, making multiple midseason trades, including the reacquisition of Revolution All-Time Team member Lee Nguyen to help fill the void left by Gil’s absence.

Teal Bunbury, the Revolution’s 2020 leading scorer, and emerging 21-year-old winger Tajon Buchanan were fielded alongside outright forwards Buksa and Bou, often resulting in holding midfielder Scott Caldwell being swamped as he tried to mark multiple Philadelphia opponents.

Even still, despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, the injuries to key players, and the lack of cohesion created by those circumstances, the possibility of rising to the full level of preseason hype remains.

New England has soundly beaten Montreal on multiple occasions since the league’s fall restart, and the Impact will be without star midfielder Victor Wanyama due to COVID-19 travel restrictions following the recent international break.

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