After ending one of the longest winning streaks in franchise history, the New England Revolution will try to remain within striking distance of the Eastern Conference lead by starting another run to finish off the season.
A favorable portion of the schedule could give them a chance to do just that.
New England will get to face the two bottom feeders in the East, beginning with Saturday night’s visit from the Philadelphia Union.
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The Revolution (13-10-7) lost 3-0 at Montreal last Saturday in their attempt at a franchise-best seventh consecutive win and nine-game unbeaten streak.
"Maybe it’s a good wakeup call, so that we know how difficult the next games are and that we have to be focused," midfielder Jermaine Jones told the team’s official website after playing 90 minutes for the first time in five matches since returning from a sports hernia injury that cost him two months. "You can see when you’re not 100 percent – the whole team – that we cannot win."
New England will try to re-energize its pursuit of the East lead and secure a playoff berth by topping ninth-place Philadelphia (9-15-6). The Revolution will also get to visit cellar dweller Chicago on Oct. 3.
The Union are six points out of playoff position with four games to play and have tried to aid their cause by winning two of three this month. A 2-1 victory over San Jose on Sept. 5 gave the club back-to-back road wins for the first time this season, and it beat visiting Houston 2-0 on Sunday.
Tranquillo Barnetta recorded his first MLS goal and second assist while C.J. Sapong scored for the second straight game. Sapong’s team-best nine goals have matched his career high from 2012.
"All players play their best when they have confidence. Obviously getting a good result against Houston was critical," coach Jim Curtin said. "Now you see a little more bounce in the guys’ steps in training. We’re going to put a team on the field that can go into New England and get points."
The Revolution have won each of the two matchups this season and five of the past seven in MLS play. Diego Fagundez scored in the 51st minute and Bobby Shuttleworth had one of his eight shutouts in a 1-0 victory at PPL Park on Aug. 29.
New England also won 2-1 there April 19 with Charlie Davies and Teal Bunbury scoring second-half goals.
Philadelphia won 3-1 in its most recent visit to the Revolution on June 28, 2014, after going 0-2-1 in its previous three trips.