After a long break, the New England Revolution look to open a key stretch at home with a victory. That also means snapping a long winless streak against a team at the bottom of the MLS standings.
New England looks to end an eight-game winless skid to D.C. United on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium.
With 24 points, the Revolution are fifth in the Eastern Conference, three points behind the fourth-place Columbus Crew SC with two matches in hand. However, New England (6-4-6) is 0-5-3 in its last eight meetings with United.
The clubs have played to draws in each of the last three matchups in Massachusetts.
The Revs kick off a three-game homestand with this matchup, and leading scorer Teal Bunbury said it’s key to get off to a good start.
“I think our last 10 (of 15) games or something is going to be on the road, so it’s going to be pretty tough. So these next few games at home are going to be crucial for us,” said Bunbury, who needs one goal to reach 10 for the first time in his career. “We’re going to start off with D.C., but our mindset is to win all these games at home.”
New England logged its fourth draw in its last five MLS games after a 2-2 tie with the San Jose Earthquakes on June 13. Diego Fagundez registered a goal and an assist, giving him five of each.
If he starts Saturday, the 23-year-old Fagundezwould become the second player in MLS history to make his 200th regular-season appearance before turning 25 years old and third player with 150 league starts before his 24th birthday.
“It’s a huge opportunity for me, especially coming in as a young player, playing games, and getting the eye of the coaches to allow me to play these games. But it’s another game for me. I know it’s my 200th, but it’s another game that’s important no matter what number it is,” said Fagundez, who has two goals and three assists in his last five matches.
D.C. United (2-6-4) is last in the Eastern Conference and 11 points behind the Philadelphia Union for the final playoff spot in the conference with 22 matches to play,
United is also well-rested as it returns to league play for the first time since a 4-4 draw with defending MLS Cup champion Toronto FC on June 13. Yamil Asad scored twice and Darren Mattocks extended his goal-scoring streak to a career-best four games.
Mattocks, who played for the Portland Timbers last year, leads United with seven goals. Asad, who ranks second on the team with five goals, had seven goals in 32 games with Atlanta United in 2017.
United has given up 14 goals and scored 13 in its last six league matches but is 1-3-2 during that span.
On Friday, United announced it has added Wayne Rooney from English side Everton, but fans will need to wait a few weeks before seeing the 32-year-old megastar suit up in red and black. Rooney is scheduled to make his MLS debut on July 14 when United faces the Vancouver Whitecaps at Audi Field.
“This is a seminal moment for our fans and organization,” Jason Levien, United managing general partner and CEO, told the team’s official website. “Wayne is a global soccer icon and his presence at D.C. United will elevate our product on the pitch and soccer as a whole in our city and in this country.”