FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The prospect of donning commemorative caps and T-shirts can wait as far as the New England Revolution are concerned ahead of Saturday's second leg of the Eastern Conference final.
Holding a 2-1 aggregate goal lead with a pair of valuable, potentially tie-breaking road goals at their disposal, the Revolution appear to be in good position to advance to their first MLS Cup final in seven years. But they're not going to let those details affect their focus.
"I think when a team gets complacent, and plays on a lead, it can get very dangerous," Revolution striker Charlie Davies said. "So we're going to go in the second leg the same way we did against Columbus [in the conference semifinals], like we're even in the [aggregate] score, and try and win the game."
Maintaining that singular mindset has been a hallmark of the Revolution ever since they kicked off their playoff run earlier this month. And while some clubs preach the one-game-a-time mentality, putting it into practice is a far more difficult proposition.
Fortunately for the Revolution, they have a strong group of leaders to hammer home the point, and to remind the rest of the team that thinking too far ahead is a recipe for failure, especially with a trip to the Cup final potentially 90 minutes away.
"This is when the experience kicks in," Davies said. "Guys like Jermaine [Jones], myself, Jose [Goncalves] and the older guys need to make sure that guys are ready and prepare not only physically, but mentally. I think it's extremely important that we handle the pressure in the right way, and don't let it affect the way we play."
Having the right mindset will certainly be vital come Saturday. The Red Bulls enter the match smarting over Sunday's first leg proceedings, especially after a number of opportunities were self-sabotaged by poor finishing. Rest assured, the Red Bulls will be looking to rectify those mistakes on Saturday.
To that end, the Red Bulls will likely throw everything they can at the Revolution on Saturday, even without golden boot winner Bradley Wright-Phillips, who was suspended for the second leg due to caution accumulation.
Teal Bunbury knows that the Red Bulls will tailor their game plan accordingly, but he isn't concerned about the changes or tweaks coach Mike Petke has in mind for Saturday.
"We really have to focus on ourselves," Bunbury said. "We know that they're going to come out and [try] to score some goals. So we have to shore up things on defense. We have to be patient on the attack, and we just have to be smart with making runs in behind or keeping the ball."
Knowing when to choose their spots will be key to the Revolution's fortunes. Even though they won't have to worry about Wright-Phillips, there's still the matter of matching up against Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill and Lloyd Sam, all of whom have served as thorns in the Revolution's sides over the years.
In fact, if there's one player who could turn Saturday's game into a nightmare for the hosts it's Henry, who'll cast aside any concerns about how his Achilles' tendon will hold up on the artificial turf and play at Gillette Stadium for the first time in his MLS career.
"He knows how to get on the ball, and make things happen," Bunbury said. "So we need to be smart, and make sure we're communicating throughout the whole 90 minutes, and be aware of where he is and just try to contain him as much as possible."
While it would certainly behoove the Revolution to keep their eye on Henry, Davies knows that it can't be the first order of business if he and his teammates have any hopes of ending Saturday's contest in celebration.
"We know we have the lead, but we can't play like we have it," Davies said. "We know we have to be just as physical, just as ruthless on the field and try attacking and score goals. We're playing at home, and we're probably going to have an amazing crowd here behind us, so we're excited."