The Revolution and FC Dallas have been on different paths.
Dallas (7-7-5, 26 points) hasn’t lost in Major League Soccer since May 31.
The Revolution (7-9-2, 23 points) are in the midst of a six-game losing streak in MLS, sliding to fourth in the Eastern Conference standings. They hope to turn around their fortunes when the teams meet Saturday at 9 p.m. at Toyota Stadium.
New England coach Jay Heaps noted that team morale was low after a 5-1 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday, but it has since improved.
“I think everyone was really down after the game and rightfully so,” said Heaps. “We took a day to really internalize that and today I think it was more about anger, about getting up and saying ‘Let’s get back after it.’ ”
Heaps wants his team to channel that anger to get on the board first. During the Revolution’s current skid, the opposing team has scored first each time. New England is 6-0-0 this year when scoring first.
Midfielder Lee Nguyen is focused on getting the team back on track.
“You just have to go back to basics, doing what you were doing before when you were on the win streak. You can’t forget that,” said Nguyen, the team’s leading scorer with six goals.
Nguyen will have extra motivation to help his team get a road win in his home state.
“I’ve got about 50-plus family and friends coming so it’s going to be an exciting game,” said the Richardson, Texas, native.
If the Revolution wish to rise in the conference, they will need Nguyen to deliver. His strike Wednesday ended a six-game goal drought.
Dallas’s usual starting goalkeeper, Chris Seitz, was injured in last week’s 2-1 win over Philadelphia. Raul Fernandez will take over in net.
FC Dallas is hoping hoping to better its 13-23-3 all-time record against the Revolution. One tactic will be getting the ball to Blas Perez, who scored in a 1-0 victory over the Revolution when the teams played in Foxborough last March.
“At times he can be one of the better guys in the league,” said Heaps.
Perez is tied for the team lead in goals (five) and assists (four) this year.
Following Saturday’s game, the Revolution play four of their next five matches at home — the ideal place to start building a positive run.
“It’s all up and down, up and down. But it’s all about how you overcome those downs,” said Nguyen. “As long as we have more ups than downs, we’re going to be fine.”