Revolution-Fire Preview

JEFF MEZYDLO (STATS Senior Writer)
The Associated Press

If the Chicago Fire are to surpass New England in the Eastern Conference standings on Saturday night, they first must find a way to score against the Revolution.

In the midst of a three-match winless stretch, the Fire hope to end their current scoreless drought against the visiting Revolution and avoid a fourth consecutive loss to them.

Chicago (10-11-6) currently sits in seventh in the East, but is just one point behind New England (10-10-7) and Houston.

"It's a huge game for us," Revolution goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth told the team's official website. "There are six or seven teams pushing for five spots, so every point's going to matter, every result's going to matter, every goal might matter."

The Revolution fell 4-2 to Montreal on Sunday, but have outscored the Fire 4-0 while winning the last three meetings, two of which have come this season - including a 2-0 victory at home Aug. 17.

Chicago has scored one goal in each of its last four matches and is 0-1-2 since a 1-0 home victory over Sporting Kansas City on Aug. 23.

"Right now we are right there," coach Frank Klopas said after the Fire's 1-all draw with Toronto FC on Wednesday. "With this league, we just want to be in a position where we are playing in the postseason.

"It really is in our hands. We are just going to have to regroup and get ready for a big game Saturday because then you get three points there and we are right there."

Dilly Duka's goal in the 20th minute gave Chicago an early lead, but Toronto tied it three minutes later. The Fire, which lost 2-1 on a late own goal last Saturday at Seattle, once again failed to generate enough quality scoring chances in the second half.

"It's tough but we've got to try and look at the positives in those games and build," said Duka, who also assisted on Mike Magee's goal at Seattle. "We have a home game against New England, they are a good team and we just got to have energy for 90 minutes and keep it positive."

New England goalkeeper Matt Reis started four straight matches, but Shuttleworth will be back in net with Reis suspended for this contest after drawing a red card against Montreal. Shuttleworth, who made one save in place of Reis on Sunday, has started 21 matches this season.

"I've been on the bench and then got a run of games, so it's nothing new for me and I'm just happy to step back in," said Shuttleworth, who had a save in a 1-0 home victory Oct. 20 in his only start against the Fire.

New England midfielder Diego Fagundez is in position to record a goal in four straight matches for the second time this season. He has one and an assist in four contests versus Chicago.

Teammate Kelyn Rowe has four goals and an assist in the last four matches, and two with three assists in five against the Fire.