The New England Revolution haven’t lost in almost a month, and Saturday at BMO Field in Toronto, the team will try to keep that streak alive and momentum headed in the right direction during a 1 p.m. matchup with Toronto FC.
The Revolution have scored just seven goals all season, but when they score they tend to come in pairs, most recently last week when they escaped Sporting KC with a 2-0 home win thanks to stoppage-time goals from Teal Bunbury and Lee Nguyen.
For Nguyen, it was his team-high third of the season. It capped a three-game stretch in which New England (3-3-2) has outscored opponents, 5-1.
“We’re coming together at the right time,” said forward Charlie Davies. “If we continue to get better after each match, then I don’t think we’ll have a problem.”
Another key piece — the biggest piece, maybe — during the Revolution’s run has been goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
He has benefited from some strong defense in front of him, so much so that he has had to make only six saves his last three games. Two of those contests have been shutouts.
His Toronto counterpart, Julio Cesar, has found some success in his first MLS season after coming over from Queens Park Rangers FC of the English Championship League. The Brazilian goalkeeper has posted two shutouts while making 15 saves on 22 chances (.682 save percentage).
Toronto’s Jermain Defoe has a team-high three goals in his first MLS season, while Michael Bradley — a 26-year-old midfielder who plays for the US national team — has found the back of the net once.
“They have guys like Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe who are very dangerous,” Davies said. “We have to limit mistakes in the center of the field where we can get punished, as well as set pieces.”
Toronto (3-3-0) hasn’t won since April 5 when it beat Columbus, 2-0. Since then, Toronto FC dropped a 1-0 decision to Colorado and lost to FC Dallas, 2-1.
The teams’ recent series history is remarkably even. The season series in 2013 went 1-1-1 — the teams split the first two games and tied the third — with a 1-1 tie coming at BMO Field.
All-time, the Revolution are 0-2-5 when visiting Toronto.
“You’re going to a very tough place to play with a team that’s had time to rest and they’ve had a week off and been able to recover,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said. “So we go on the road again and we have to go with the right mentality.
“When they’re the full lineup that they have, they’re almost one of the best teams in the league.”