In his return to New England, Clint Dempsey will try to lead the Seattle Sounders to the longest win streak in franchise history.
He'll also try to end the Revolution's unbeaten run Sunday in his first MLS game at Gillette Stadium in nearly eight years.
Dempsey played 71 games and scored 25 goals in three seasons for New England, who took him eighth overall in the 2004 SuperDraft. He also helped lead the Revolution to two MLS Cup appearances but couldn't help them earn their first title.
"It's always great to go back to where you started. I owe a lot to that organization," Dempsey told the Sounders' website. "They picked me up in the draft and gave me the opportunity to jump-start my career and through playing there allowed me to break into the national team which allowed me to go overseas. I had good memories there."
Dempsey left for the English Premier League after a penalty kick loss to Houston in the 2006 MLS Cup and has come back an even more dynamic player. He's among the league leaders this season with eight goals - in just eight games - but has been held scoreless in the past two.
Obafemi Martins has been among those who have stepped up in his place, tallying three goals and two assists in the last four contests. He's also helped Seattle (7-2-1) record five straight wins for the fourth time in its six MLS seasons.
Martins recorded both assists in a 2-1 win over FC Dallas on Wednesday, and Kenny Cooper scored the tiebreaking goal in the 88th minute against his former team. Lamar Neagle also tallied his third goal in four games.
That multi-pronged attack, among the league leaders with 22 goals, will next face a team that's conceded only two during a 3-0-1 run. Seattle could also have to contend with some fatigue in its third game in nine days.
"We've got to try to stop (Dempsey) and the rest of the team," said Revolution midfielder Andy Dorman, one of two former teammates along with Shalrie Joseph. "We're looking forward to the game. It's definitely the sort of game you want to be playing in."
New England (4-3-2) recorded its second straight win last weekend by rallying for a 2-1 victory at Toronto FC.
After yielding a goal in the sixth minute,Patrick Mullins drew the Revolution even in the 24th and took the lead on Lee Nguyen's penalty kick with eight minutes remaining.
Nguyen's goal was his team-best fourth and third in as many games.
"They're obviously a team that started slowly but they're on a good run lately," Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. "Lee Nguyen's been having a really good year for them. He's been probably their most dangerous player, game in and game out, but (Diego) Fagundez always seems to have a good game against us."
Fagundez has scored two goals in the last three meetings with Seattle, including a tying goal in stoppage time in a 2-all draw in Massachusetts on June 30, 2012. Neither side found the net in last year's only meeting in Seattle.
The Sounders are 2-0-2 in the last four matchups.