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Strong defense meets firecracker offense tonight

Posted by Julian Cardillo  September 8, 2013 11:17 AM

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The Revolution may have the best defense in the league, but they have yet to square off against the league's best offense.

That will change when the Revolution play host to the Montreal Impact, holders of the league's best offensive record, in an Eastern Conference clash with serious playoff implications tonight at Gillette Stadium.

Marco DiVaio is the attacking spearhead for the Impact, as he leads the league in scoring with 15 goals. Revolution Head Coach Jay Heaps and the players spoke at length about stopping DiVaio at practice this week.

"He’s the leading goal scorer and for me, one of the best strikers in the league,” Heaps told reporters. “He just always has a knack and an ability to find a little bit of space. And when he does, he’s clinical. They know how to get him the ball where he’s going to be dangerous.”

DiVaio's Italian compatriots will both provide him service and back up his goals with quality defensive play. Forward Daniele Paponi and midfielder Andrea Pisanu both joined Montreal from the Italian Serie A and have paired well with DiVaio. Italians Matteo Ferrari and Alessandro Nesta have paired well together in central defense and combined for eight shutouts.

Some notes on tonight's game:

  • Montreal's defensive record is much worse on the road than at home. They've given up 22 goals on the road to just 13 at home.
  • Montreal's scoring record differs greatly on the road than at home. They've scored 28 goals at home but just 13 on the road.

  • Because of their Jeckyl and Hyde form, Montreal is 2-6-3 on the road.

  • Even with DiVaio on the field, the Revolution have a statistical advantage over the Impact. They've scored 21 goals at home and have only given up eight.

  • Numbers never decide a game.

  • Also:

    • The Revolution can slide into fourth place with a win and a loss by Philadelphia
    • The Revolution have played two less games than Philadelphia
    • It will be DiVaio's third-ever game at Gillette Stadium. He scored two goals for Juventus in a friendly versus Barcelona in a penalty-shootout loss in Foxborough on July 27, 2003.
    • Nesta, DiVaio, and Ferrari combine for 103 appearances with the Italian national team. Nesta won the World Cup in 2006.
    • If you want to reach Julian email him at and follow him on twitter @juliancardillo

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About Corner Kicks: Julian Cardillo offers insight and analysis about the New England Revolution as well as European and international soccer.

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