Since losing, 2-0, to D.C. United back on April 5, the Revolution have gone unbeaten in their last six contests en route to first place in the MLS Eastern Conference. They will look to avenge that defeat and hold on to the top spot in a rematch with United Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
New England (6-3-2, 20 points) has won four straight games and its offense has come alive. Over their last three contests, the Revolution have scored 12 goals, five of which were tallied against the league’s top team in the Seattle Sounders.
A key contributor has been Leominster native Diego Fagundez. The 19-year-old has scored all three of his goals this season in the last two matches. He also leads the team with 30 shots.
“We finally got Diego on the board, and he’s been taking off, so it’s exciting for us,” said defender Andrew Farrell. “When the guys up top score a lot of goals, it makes our job a little bit easier.”
The streaking offense will be put to the test against a stout United defense that has allowed just six goals since its last meeting with New England. D.C. (5-3-3, 18 points) will also look to get some of its notable offensive players involved early on.
“The way we look at it, we have to match what they’re doing,” said Revolution coach Jay Heaps. “The have some pretty good pieces in [Fabian] Espindola, Eddie Johnson when he’s firing, they’re very difficult to defend. I think it’s a big in-conference game.”
Espindola leads United in both goals and assists with five of each.
“He’s relentless, he never stops,” said Heaps. “He’s always finding the gap between the center back and the outside back.”
Johnson posted nine goals and two assists last season and has tallied one of each so far in 2014.
Espindola and Johnson might have trouble finding the back of the net at Gillette, however, as the Revolution have not surrendered a goal at home all season.
“Something we take pride in is not giving goals up at home, and that usually translates to winning,” said center back A.J. Soares. “We’ll get some goals and hopefully continue having that good home-field form.”
With that stingy defensive play, New England has gone 3-0-1 in Foxborough.
United, said Farrell, is “a team we could’ve played better and gotten a better result away, and we’re looking forward to Saturday and hopefully get some points and keep this run going.”Alex Hall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @AlexKHall