New England Revolution enter Toyota Stadium Saturday trying to a break a six-game losing streak.
The Revolution haven't won a game since May 24 against Montreal Impact and most recently losing to L.A. Galaxy 5-1 Wednesday.
New England isn't too hurt in their lineup, but will be without two pivotal players in their midfield.
Out: M Andy Dorman (right knee), M Shalrie Joseph (calf strain).
Struggling to hold formation in the midfield for the Revolution, A.J Soares committed a hard foul to Los Angeles' midfielder Junhino in the 28th minute of Wednesday's contest and received a straight red. Soares will not be soaring down to Frisco for Saturday night's match and will return to action July 20.
New England head coach John Heaps has gotten heaps of complaints for his team's performance lately. After playing in the 4-4-2 formation with a diamond in the midfield Wednesday for the first time since April 20, 2013 resulted in a four-goal loss, it - surprisingly - wouldn't be weird if Heaps continues to try to be effective with the same formation.
GK: Bobby Shuttleworth; LB: Chris Tierny; CB: Jose Gonclaves, Andrew Farrell; RB: Darrius Barnes; CDM: Scott Caldwell; LM: Lee Nguyen; RM: Kelyn Rowe; CAM: Diego Fagundez; LF: Patrick Mullins; RF: Teal Bunbury.
Scott Caldwell vs. Blas Perez - Caldwell is a wall in the backfield for the Revolution. He has usually been subbed in this season for New England, but the Revs are 7-1-1 when they bring him off the bench. Whether he gets the starting nod or comes into the game late, he'll size up the Panamanian striker and try to limit Perez's productivity upfront even if Perez has five inches on him.
Key to Three Points
Don't let NE strike first. The Revs are a perfect 6-0 when they get on the board first; that's one streak New England wants to continue. Backed by a dynamic wing in Nguyen, the Revolution can easily find first blood through him or the talented teen Fagundez. Stephen Keel will need to shut down any Revs' attack in FCD's defensive third.
Feed the rookie. It's no hiding the fact that the Hoops have one of the most talented rookies in the game. Tesho Akindele has been a huge part of FCD's offense in recent games. One-two passes between him and Perez up top could easily lead to another finesse goal. The rookies has a knack for finding the goal and creating opportunities. Don't let that fall off.
Outside backs have to be on their game. Some of the biggest struggles FCD has had on defense is getting beat down the outside. Moises Hernandez has played well on that left side, and he'll have to continue being a force for the Hoops' defense. Zach Loyd can't allow any crosses from New England's left side. With two forwards up top for New England, either one could find a head to get the ball to the back of the net.