With those cumbersome extracurricular tournaments thankfully out of the way, the Revolution can focus their attention on the remaining fixtures left on MLS schedule. Here's an interesting bushel of stats pertaining to these final six matches:
Combined record of the five clubs (Revs face KC twice): 47-47-26
Revs combined record against these clubs: 3-3-1
Revs combined GF/GA against these clubs: 9/11
With three games at home, and three on the road, it does not get much more even than that.
Finishing the regular season strong is key. Though last year's squad closed last season rather lukewarm (2-2-2) en route to another MLS Cup disappointment, it's critical that this year's club not become suddenly impotent down the stretch. Taylor Twellman - who scored all three of the club's postseason goals last year - is not an island. Let's not forget that. With recent history in mind, let's look at the remaining six matches of the season to see what the outlook is for the Revvies down the stretch.
9/20 at Colorado: I don't like the look of this match at all. It's like the Revs forget to play football once the thin Rocky Mountain air enters their collective lungs, thus depriving their collective brains of the requisite oxygen to perform normal soccer functions. A draw would be extremely welcome, especially since the Rapids are in the thick of it for the final playoff spot. Prediction: 2-1, Colorado.
9/27 vs. Columbus: Can you say "revenge match"? Yes? Well, good for you. With the memory of their embarrassing 0-4 loss in Columbus on September 6th, the Revs - with a healthy Steve Ralston, and a convalescing Kenny Mansally - will not be the same club that got beaten to a pulp weeks prior, but rather, a well-armed and possessed club ready to reclaim their self-respect. Barring injuries and/or suspensions to key players, this match will be a true test of each club's mettle. Prediction: 2-2.
10/4 vs. Real Salt Lake: For some ungodly reason, the local eleven always have their hands full with RSL. Home. Away. Day. Night. Football lines. No football lines. Much like Colorado, Real Salt Lake is battling for the better playoff spot in the West, while Houston runs up an eight-point lead in the West. The Revs will be quite fortunate to gain three points here, even at home. Prediction: 1-1.
10/11 at Kansas City: Early frontrunners, the Wiz have since departed from their springtime form and accomplished little, other than alternating positions on the stairs to the Eastern Conference basement. Goals have been scarce. An abysmal negative-7 goal differential is E.D.-like embarrassing, while Jimmy Conrad and his on-pitch posse struggle to salvage any remaining slivers of respectability. Anything short of a two-goal victory will only be categorized as a disappointment. Prediction: 4-1, Revs.
10/16 at D.C.: This has all the makings of a trap game. Sure, DC looks innocent enough, sitting in fifth place, adorably chewing on its U.S. Open Cup championship. But watch out, bra. They need points, bra. They'll pickpocket the Revs if they have to, bra. Better get one of those wallet chains for this one. Prediction: 2-1, Revs. Extra credit prediction: Revs score the game-winner in extra time. Extra extra credit prediction: Khano Smith scores that goal in the 92nd minute.
10/25 vs. Kansas City: Oooooh, yeah!Had enough, brother? K.C. comes back for more and arrives handsomely groomed for a good pre-playoff warmup for the Revs. The importance of this match can be summarized in the following sentence/fragment: Brandon Manzonelli up top. Prediction: 2-0, Revs.
Ah, yes. The fragrance of fall is upon us, my friends. May the best football team rake as many points as possible before the chill of November pierces our senses.