The Revolution look to head into the World Cup break on a high note as they close out their hectic stretch of six games in 19 days when they square off with the Earthquakes Wednesday night in San Jose.
On Saturday, Teal Bunbury’s second-half goal off a pass from Diego Fagundez helped New England (6-5-4, 23 points) secure a point in a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire.
The goal was Bunbury’s ninth in 15 games this season, tying his season high set in 2011 with Sporting Kansas City. He is tied for third in MLS in goals after scoring in four consecutive games, and he has entered into the MVP discussion ahead of a 17-day break in action for New England.
The draw against Chicago marked the third straight game in which the Revolution conceded the first goal, only to work their way back to secure at least a point. It also improved their record to 1-2-3 away from Gillette Stadium, with those 6 points already matching their point total for all 17 road games last season.
“I don’t think it should be a road mentality, I think it should just be the same mentality, home or away,” said New England coach Brad Friedel. “It’s an American culture, really, in all sports, that playing on the road is so different than at home, and it just isn’t.
“It’s trying to get the consistency with the players to be able to do the same things and work the same amount, be as good on the ball the same amount, get the same amount of crosses, shots, all the above away from home.”
San Jose finds itself moving in the opposite direction, falling to 11th in the Western Conference after losing four straight. Saturday’s 4-3 loss to expansion Los Angeles was crushing, as the Earthquakes (2-9-3, 9 points) led, 3-2, in the 90th minute before LA got stoppage-time goals from Adama Diomande and Joao Moutinho.
The Earthquakes cannot be overlooked, however, as all but one of their nine losses have been by a single goal. Their 22 goals put them sixth in the Western Conference, with Danny Hoesen leading the way with seven and US striker Chris Wondolowski with four after scoring twice Saturday.
The biggest issue has been on defense. San Jose’s 29 goals against are tied for third-most in MLS, and losing defensive stalwart Shea Salinas to a hamstring injury against Chicago June 2 hurt the back line. The Earthquakes have not posted a shutout all season, with goalie Andrew Tarbell posting a .554 save percentage in starting all 14 games, the lowest mark of any goalie with more than six starts.
“They’re in every single game,” said New England goalie Matt Turner, who sits fifth in MLS with 52 saves. “They’ve got some dangerous pieces. Obviously they’ve got [Wondolowski] up top
Revolution vs. Earthquakes preview
■ When, where: Wednesday, 10:30 p.m., at Avaya Stadium, San Jose.
■ TV, radio: NBCSB, WBZ-FM (98.5).
■ Formations: Revolution — 4-2-3-1; Earthquakes — 4-3-1-2.
■ Goalkeepers: Revolution — Matt Turner; Earthquakes — Andrew Tarbell.
■ Coaches: Revolution — Brad Friedel; Earthquakes — Mikael Stahre.
■ Referee: Dave Gantar.
■ Out: Revolution — M Isaac Angking (illness), D Chris Tierney (torn right ACL). Earthquakes — D Shea Salinas (hamstring injury), D Partida (red card suspension).
■ Miscellany: Chris Wondolowski’s two goals on Saturday against Los Angeles FC gave him 138 in his career, just seven shy of the all-time MLS record . . San Jose averages 1.6 goals per game to rank 11th in MLS.