New England Revolution coach Jay Heaps insists that Toronto FC is not a bad team, and counterpart Ryan Nelsen makes the same point even though his club is mired in a nine-game winless run.
Toronto FC is also winless in 12 straight on the road since its last trip to Gillette Stadium heading into this Saturday night matchup.
Only league-worst D.C. United has fewer points than the seven amassed by Toronto (1-6-4), which has dropped four straight. Heaps believes Toronto's record is deceiving.
"When I go through the film, you're not looking at results, you're looking at the way a team plays, and Toronto's a good team," he said.
All of Toronto's defeats have come by one goal, and it is the only club in the Eastern Conference which can make that claim.
"Every league game this season, you can make an argument that we could have won," Nelsen said. "So as I've been saying all the time, we're probably the only team in the league that hasn't been beaten by two or three goals in a game yet."
Toronto had been 0-4-2 at New England (3-4-4) before winning 1-0 on July 14 on Luis Silva's goal. TFC is 0-10-2 on the road since, including 0-4-1 this year.
The Revolution, meanwhile, pulled off a surprising 2-0 victory at Houston last Saturday. Diego Fagundez scored for the second straight match to increase his team-high goal total to three.
"If you're not confident after a win like that, I don't know what you need to do," midfielder Lee Nguyen said. "Going into Houston and doing what we did, dominating how we did against a team who's so strong at home, shows that we can go anywhere and play.
"Especially at home now, we've got to bring the same mentality, same spirit and go in against Toronto and do the same thing."
Three players who started that contest will have to be replaced. Forward Dimitry Imbongo is suspended due to a red card while forward Ryan Guy (calf strain) and midfielder Stephen McCarthy (Achilles strain) were injured.
Juan Agudelo, acquired May 7 from Chivas USA, could start in his home debut after playing 55 minutes as a substitute against the Dynamo.
"I thought Juan was very good," Heaps said. "I thought Juan did a nice job, he was versatile for us."
Toronto's frustrations continued with last Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Columbus. This is the club's longest losing streak since it started 2012 with nine defeats.
"We haven't won since the second week of the season and the gap from the playoff spot to where we're at right now keeps getting bigger every week," midfielder Jeremy Hall said.
Robert Earnshaw has scored a team-high five goals, with none in his last five games. That drought won't be easy to break against the Revolution, who own the league's best defense with nine goals conceded from 11 games.
Toronto is 2-0-3 in its last five meetings with New England.
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