United-Revolution Preview

The Associated Press

It seems a visit from lowly D.C. United could offer the New England Revolution a good chance to end their recent struggles and perhaps even move back into playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

Looking to avoid a season-high third straight defeat, the Revolution try to keep United winless on the road Saturday night.

New England (10-11-7) dropped out of playoff position with last Saturday's 3-2 loss at Chicago. The Revolution are two points out of the fifth and final playoff spot in the East, but they're mired in a 0-2-1 stretch and have allowed seven goals in two matches.

"Especially after the past three games not getting as many points as we want, every game we need three points," midfielder Kelyn Rowe told the Revolution's official website. "We want to make this playoff run. Everyone wants it, everyone feels it. Three points - at home especially - is something we should take every game."

New England appears to be in good position to do so against D.C. (3-19-6), which at 0-11-3 is the only MLS team without a road win and has been outscored 11-3 during a five-match losing streak away from home.

D.C. is 0-12-3 on the road in league play since a 1-0 victory at New York on Nov. 8 - its longest such MLS road drought since an 0-15-3 slide that covered parts of the 2001 and 2002 seasons.

With a league-low 15 points, D.C. has been eliminated from postseason contention but will play Real Salt Lake in the final of the U.S. Open Cup on Oct. 1.

The Revolution won 2-1 at D.C. on July 27, after the teams played to a scoreless draw at New England on June 8 and United won 3-1 at home in Cup play June 26.

"It's a rival, so it's going to be a big game no matter where it is, no matter who's in the running or not," Rowe said. "They're a good team that hasn't had a good season and so for us, we have to punish them early and not let the throttle down."

One of the hottest players in MLS, Rowe has scored five of his seven league goals in the last five matches but was held without one in the first two MLS contests against United.

Since a 3-1 victory over Montreal on Aug. 3, D.C. has been outscored 10-5 while going 0-4-2 overall. However, it played Los Angeles to a 2-2 draw last Saturday when Kyle Porter scored the equalizer in the 84th minute.

"I think the difference between (Saturday) and a lot of our games this year is that everybody showed up and played well," United coach Ben Olsen said. "Everybody did their job, including the subs, and we had a couple guys who I thought played great. That's the recipe to try to get results."

Chris Pontius also scored in that contest, and in the Cup match versus New England.

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