With Diego Fagundez leading an offensive surge, the New England Revolution are on the cusp of their longest winning streak in nine seasons.
Getting there, however, isn't likely to be easy against a D.C. United team that has played stingy defense.
The Revolution are unbeaten in their last six matches and will try for a fifth straight victory Saturday night against visiting D.C., which looks to move past them atop the Eastern Conference standings.
Since totaling nine goals over its first nine matches, New England has scored 10 in the last two to improve to 5-0-1 in its last six. The Revolution (6-3-2) haven't won five consecutive matches since a six-game run in 2005, when they began a string of three straight trips to the MLS Cup.
Fagundez has been on a roll with three goals in the last two games after going scoreless in the first nine. The midfielder finished with a goal and an assist in last Saturday's 5-3 victory at Philadelphia.
"Our offense has been clicking on high cylinders," defender Andrew Farrell said. "Finally, we got Diego on board and he's been taking off."
Lee Nguyen, who leads the team with five goals, has also played a major role with four goals in his last five games. Fagundez and Nguyen scored in a 2-1 victory over United (5-3-3) in the most recent meeting at Gillette Stadium on Sept. 21.
The Revolution have yet to allow a goal there this season, recording the league's best home record at 3-0-1. They're 6-0-2 at Gillette Stadium since losing 4-2 to Montreal on Sept. 8.
New England's last loss this season was 2-0 at D.C. on April 5.
The Revolution's Jose Goncalves was credited with an own goal before D.C.'s Chris Rolfe provided an insurance score off an assist from Fabian Espindola. Andrew Dykstra made one save while filling in for injured starter Bill Hamid.
Hamid and D.C's defense have been playing well, allowing one goal over the last three matches. With Hamid posting three saves Wednesday, Rolfe scored his third goal and Espindola added his team-leading fifth in a 2-0 home win over Houston.
"It's going to be a tough battle (against New England), particularly with us coming off of three days' rest and them off a week's rest," assistant coach Amos Magee told United's official website. "But, I think our guys are ready."
United, 5-1-2 over their last eight games, will try to take over the East's top spot as they trail the Revolution by two points. However, they're 1-5-1 in their last seven trips to Gillette Stadium.
They could be getting a boost with the return of Eddie Johnson from a one-game suspension. The forward has five goals in his last three matches at New England dating to his time with Sporting Kansas City.
The Revolution might have goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth (four shutouts) back after he sat out with a concussion last Saturday. If he can't go, Brad Knighton could get his second straight start.
They're also hoping Goncalves can return after missing the last five matches with a right quad strain.