As MLS embarks on its season restart, the New England Revolution get a chance to avenge an opening-day loss to the Montreal Impact.
These sides square off in a Group C match on Thursday night at the Wide World of Sports Complex in central Florida.
Despite several positive coronavirus tests, FC Dallas pulling out of the league's restart and at least two matches already postponed, the "MLS is Back Tournament" remains a go at the moment. Confined inside the bubble of the Disney complex near Orlando, Montreal (1-0-1) and New England (0-1-1) are set to be reacquainted on this neutral pitch.
Back on Feb. 29, what seems like ages ago when MLS kicked off its 2020 season, Montreal overcame an early hole to beat New England 2-1 at Stade Saputo. Teal Bunbury opened the scoring in the 13th minute for the Revs, but Romell Quioto equalized in the 37th. The Impact went ahead for good on 80 minutes, courtesy of Max Urruti's goal.
New England followed with a 1-1 draw versus Chicago, where the club was unable to make Adam Buksa's 28th-minute goal stand up. Now, the Revs have the chance for a little revenge while also trying to get off to a good start in the reopening of the league.
"It's been a long time that we've had an opportunity to get ready and prepare for an opponent," Bunbury told the Revolution's official website.
"Now, it'll be good that we can go out there and face a good opponent, and kind of get some retribution against Montreal."
That might be tough considering the Impact have looked relatively solid during the early stages of Thierry Henry's first season as coach.
Following the win over New England, Montreal played FC Dallas to a 2-2 draw on March 7. In that contest, Urruti put the Impact up 2-0 with a brace through the first 68 minutes of the match. However, Dallas responded and eventually tied the game in the sixth minute of stoppage time.
Now, the Impact look to remain undefeated while also dealing with the uniqueness of this season and the tournament that awaits. The "MLS is Back Tournament" features play among six groups and will be followed by knockout rounds.
"It's a tough one," Henry told mlssoccer.com. "I've played in a lot of tournaments for a long time, but we could go out (of the hotel). We could have a day off, go into town, see people, see our family. You can't compare it where we're going to go.
"Understand me well, I'm not complaining. It's just difficult to compare."
Montreal is amid a 2-0-1 stretch against the Revolution.
Updated July 7, 2020