Fire-Revolution Preview


The New England Revolution haven't earned a point since their lengthy winning streak from late-April through late-May.

A matchup against the lowly Chicago Fire could help them get on track.

New England goes for a fourth consecutive home victory over the Fire, who look to snap an overall six-game winless drought Saturday night.

The Revolution (7-7-2) have followed five straight wins with four consecutive defeats in MLS play, getting outscored 9-2 in that span. New England couldn't keep up last Friday in a 2-1 defeat at Real Salt Lake, conceding both goals on penalty kicks.

The Revolution also fell 2-0 at Philadelphia in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday.

"These are the times you just have to fight through it," defender Chris Tierney told league's official website. "We're in the dog days of summer. We've got seven games this month alone, so it's going to be a tough stretch. First thing's first, we have to dig in and defend well and make sure our work rate is where it needs to be. We know that if we take care of those things, then results will start coming our way."

Despite its woes, New England is still in third place in the Eastern Conference with 23 points - seven more than the Fire (2-4-10). The Revs, who played to a 1-all draw at Chicago on April 19, have taken three straight home meetings in the series by a combined 5-0 score and carry a 328-minute shutout streak at home versus the Fire into this match.

"It's a very tough challenge for us," Tierney said of facing Chicago. "They're a team that's very hard to break down, don't concede a lot of goals, so we're going to have to be on our best in terms of our play. Our soccer brains have to be firing on all cylinders and we've got to create chances and take them when they're there."

The Fire have been held to five goals during an 0-2-4 slide following Sunday's 1-all draw at Sporting Kansas City. They're also facing a short turnaround after pulling out a 3-1 road win over Atlanta in U.S. Open Cup play on Wednesday to reach the semifinals.

"We're soldiering on, we're trying our best," said coach Frank Yallop, whose team has more Open Cup victories than MLS wins. "I think the spirit is good, and I'm pleased for the guys to have some joy. We haven't won many games but we've been right there in a lot of games, and it's nice just to get over the hump in this one.

"We just have to take each game as it comes. I hate to use the cliché there, but we have to. We got a big game this weekend."

The Fire have led for only six minutes during their current winless stretch but also have shown their mettle by rallying for a win and five draws this year when trailing.

"We've shown that on any given day once we show up, we can perform and compete with any team," defender Lovel Palmer said.

The Fire are 1-2-5 on the road in league play after scoring one goal during a three-game winless slide.

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