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Revolution end season on high note but brace for the future

ontreal Impact midfielder Ignacio Piatti is defended by New England Revolution midfielder Zachary Herivaux (21) and defender Antonio Mlinar Delamea
Oct 28, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Montreal Impact midfielder Ignacio Piatti (10) is defended by New England Revolution midfielder Zachary Herivaux (21) and defender Antonio Mlinar Delamea (19) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Revolution defeated the Montreal Impact 1-0 in the season finale Sunday evening. The victory means the Revolution end the season with a 10-13-11 record and eighth in the Eastern Conference.

Here are three takeaways from New England’s performance:

Fagundez finishes season – maybe Revs career – with bang

No one saw the news coming that Diego Fagundez might not be back next year.

New England’s premier homegrown signing has emerged as one of the club’s most recognizable faces and he seemed like a lock for the 2019 season and beyond, despite occasional rumors he was being scouted by teams in Europe and South America.

But Fagundez’s father and agent, Washington, may have thrown all those notions about his son’s future in Foxborough out the window when his account tweeted that Sunday night’s game could be his last.

If Fagundez isn’t back in 2019, he’s certainly leaving in style.

His beautifully-hit goal in the 75th minute was the lone breakthrough in an otherwise boring affair Sunday night. Fagundez notched a personal milestone by scoring the goal, too: with it, he became the youngest Major League Soccer player at 23 years old to reach 50 career goals.

Fagundez has had a history of being a streaky scorer, but he showed growth and plenty of promise in 2018.

Hybrid lineup conjures professional result

Sunday’s contest wasn’t the Revolution’s best performance by any stretch, but a number of players put in fine performances inside a new and unorthodox 3-4-2-1 formation.

One of the surprises to the starting XI was Zachary Herivaux, a holding midfielder turned No.10, filling in for an injured Andrew Farrell at right back. Herivaux isn’t as fast as Farrell, but he brought an interesting physical dimension to the position. He also seemed less inclined to rush into the box and cross, choosing instead to work off Teal Bunbury and Juan Agudelo with ground passes.

Herivaux finished the game with a decent 79-percent pass completion, which isn’t bad when you consider he was playing a new position.

Matt Turner returned in front of net and made four saves to help the Revolution clinch their seventh shutout of the season. He was named to MLS’ team of the week.

Meanwhile, Antonio Delamea and Michael Mancienne performed well in central defense. Mancienne completed an impressive 96 percent of his passes, while Delamea chipped in five tackles.

The Revolution back line was inconsistent for most of the season, but the Mancienne-Delamea partnership at the back is a legitimate option heading into 2019.

With Mancienne coming in during the summer and Delamea missing a few games in the fall due to international call-ups and suspensions, the two only recently have started to gel.

Revolution need to be more like Boston counterparts

Roughly four hours after the final whistle blew Sunday night, the Boston Red Sox took down the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 to capture the 2018 World Series.

This is the Red Sox’s fourth title since 2004. Like MLS, Major League Baseball also uses a playoff system to decide its annual champion. But this year’s playoffs were no crapshoot. The Red Sox deserved to win after finishing the regular season with the most wins in the league and taking down their rival New York Yankees, the talented Houston Astros and the Dodgers, who were last year’s runners-up.

Meanwhile, the New England Patriots – who share the Kraft family as owners with the Revolution – are on a roll this season and look like a relatively safe bet to make their third consecutive Super Bowl. No one would be surprised to see the Pats win their sixth title this season.

The Boston Bruins have had a decent start to their season and currently hold the top wild card spot in the NHL; the Boston Celtics are expected, at minimum, to contend for the conference this year as well.

All that said, the Revolution are currently like a sibling that can’t quite get up to speed.

While it’s true that Boston’s sports teams’ largely continuous success since the turn of the century is unprecedented, there is one characteristic setting the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins apart from the Revolution, win or lose: ambition.

The Revs have talked a big game about making the most out of this offseason, but the team will have to practice what it preaches if it hopes to snap a three-year streak of missing out on playoffs.

If the new normal for Boston’s sports teams is at least making the playoffs, the Revolution aren’t cutting it.

Seeing the Red Sox win the World Series later on Sunday night was surreal given how the Revolution’s season ended. To be fair, the Revs have had some success to brag about since 2002 – winning a U.S. Open Cup and reaching five MLS Cup finals really is impressive – but the club has clearly lost its way in the last three years in the way of management.

The results prove it.

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