The Revolution will look to extend their winning streak to three when they head to the nation’s capital Saturday to face D.C. United for the third and final time this season.
New England earned its first road victory of the season last weekend, defeating the Whitecaps in Vancouver, 2-1. London Woodberry scored his first career goal and Kelyn Rowe had the game-winner in the second half. But most impressive was goalkeeper Brad Knighton, making four saves against his former team.
“We were mentally tough,” said Revolution coach Jay Heaps. “We just got down to business. It wasn’t our best game offensively, but I thought we were sound defensively and made enough plays.”
While the Revolution are heating up, D.C. has been ice cold. Scoring just three goals since the calendar turned to May, the United have struggled offensively. Last weekend, D.C. drew, 0-0, with Houston and managed just three shots on target.
One team D.C. has not struggled against, however, is New England. In two meetings against New England this season, D.C. is 1-0-1. The draw came in New England’s home opener as the teams canceled each other out, playing to a 0-0 finish.
On April 23 in Washington, the Revolution fell, 3-0, but the score did not reflect the performance. New England lost defender Chris Tierney to an early injury, and a controversial penalty gave D.C. the lead. The Revolution controlled 54 percent of the possessions and were outshot just 14-13 for the match.
That was a much different New England team. Kei Kamara was still in Columbus, Juan Agudelo was hurt, and no one had really heard of a bench player named Femi Hollinger-Janzen. All three have become key pieces of the New England offense.
In addition to being strong on defense, New England must find a way to dissect the D.C. back line. Anchored by Steve Birnbaum, D.C. has conceded only 16 goals in 15 games. That, plus the return of keeper Bill Hamid, will make it tough on New England to score.
“We know what D.C. can bring,” said Revolution forward Teal Bunbury.
“They’re a tough team to play against, especially at home. So for us, it’s playing our game and sticking together as a unit.”