<
>

Revolution suffer second straight defeat in league play

Jean-Yves Ahern/USA TODAY Sports

Kei Kamara's first pair of Revolution goals in league play were overshadowed by a three-goal outburst from the Montreal Impact, who handed New England a 3-2 defeat at Stade Saputo in Montreal, Ontario on Saturday.

Kamara, who scored in tournament play during in the mid-week U.S. Open Cup match against the New York Cosmos, tallied in the 18th minute when he latched onto a Kelyn Rowe through ball and buried it from close range. He added his second in the 34th minute when he headed through a Chris Tierney corner kick.

But the hosts were far from finished following Kamara's second strike. Within a 14-minute span, the Impact scored three times.

The first arrived when Ambroise Oyongo sent a menacing ball into the box that Jose Goncalves failed to clear before Michael Salazar pounced on it and scored in the 41st minute. Salazar equalized in the 48th minute when Goncalves inexplicably allowed a Hassoun Camara cross to fall into the box, where the Impact winger easily tapped it through.

Not long after Salazer's second strike, Ignacio Piatti put the hosts ahead from the spot after he was broke through the Revolution back line and was brought down inside the box by Brad Knighton moments earlier, setting up the penalty strike in 54th minute.

The mistake-laden loss was the Revolution's second straight defeat in league play, keeping them winless at Stade Saputo since 2013. The comeback win allowed the Impact to extend their modest unbeaten streak to four (2-0-2).

What it means: Got defense? With the Revolution reaching the halfway point of the season, one thing is clear going into the final 17 matches: massive improvements to the backline must be made if a fourth straight postseason berth is in the cards. Any team wishing to call itself a contender should be able to protect an early-two goal lead on the road. But the Revolution showed themselves much too vulnerable once again on Saturday, as curious lapses from Jose Goncalves - their highest paid defender - allowed Michael Salazar to single-handedly cancel Kamara's brace before the 50th minute. Not long after Salazar's second strike, Ignacio Piatti beat the Revolution's high line and raced at Brad Knighton, who fouled the crafty attacker inside the box to set up the game-winner from the spot. At 4-6-7 through their first 17, there's no doubt the Revolution need to be better across the board. But it's clear their biggest need is in the back, where too many defensive mistakes have forced the locals to leave points on the pitch far too often this spring and early summer.

Stat of the match: Saturday's game marked the first time in over three years the Revolution scored the first two goals and lost. Coincidentally, the last occurrence also unfolded north of the border: a 4-3 loss at Vancouver on Jun. 15, 2013.

Knighton earns third straight start: For the first time since he was acquired by the Revolution in December 2013, reserve keeper Brad Knighton made his third straight league appearance for the locals on Saturday. The veteran shot stopper made a valiant save on a dangerous Dominic Oduro effort inside of three minutes to keep the Impact from jumping out to an early advantage, but his three saves weren't enough to earn his second win of the season in league play.

Sticking to the script: First time since late-August 2013, Revolution coach Jay Heaps penciled in the same lineup for the third straight match in league play. Given the way the locals have played over the course of those three games, don't be surprised if Heaps makes changes for Wednesday's match vs. New York City after the locals went lost two of three, and conceded six goals during that stretch.

Agudelo out: Versatile winger/forward Juan Agudelo was unavailable after injuring his right knee during the first half of Wednesday's Open Cup win against the New York Cosmos. Agudelo was listed as out with a right knee sprain on the team's injury report ahead of the match.

Femi sees the field: While one forward was a no-go on Saturday, another made his return as rookie super-sub Femi Hollinger-Janzen entered the match for Teal Bunbury in the 85th minute. The 2016 third-round pick fired a hurried shot in the dying moments that sailed well over the bar.

Long-awaited return home on tap: After playing five straight on the road across all competitions, the Revolution will be back at Gillette Stadium for the first time since late-May on Wednesday when they host New York City FC at 7:30pm. Last year, the Revolution went 2-1-0 against City.