Minnesota United will put a six-game unbeaten streak on the line when they host the New England Revolution on Saturday night in Saint Paul, Minn.
The Loons (9-8-9, 36 points) enter the match in seventh place in the Western Conference. They are 3-0-3 over their last six contests, including a 1-1 draw last Saturday at San Jose.
Teemu Pukki scored for the second straight game for Minnesota. He initially scored a second goal in the contest, but it was eventually taken off the board after a VAR review for a controversial handball for a ball hit Emanuel Reynoso in the shoulder area.
Pukki, midfielder Joseph Rosales and forward Sang Bin Jeong will all be missing on Saturday because of international duty, but the Loons are expected to get winger and top scorer Bongi Hlongwane (six goals, three assists) back after missing three games with a knee injury.
New England (13-5-8, 47 points) is tied for second place in the Eastern Conference. The Revolution are unbeaten at home (10-0-4) but have struggled on the road (3-5-4). They are winless in their last seven league matches away from home (0-3-4).
"We're playing a really good team, well-coached, well-organized, really good talent in the forward areas," Minnesota coach Adrian Heath said. "It doesn't get any easier. Between now and the end of the season, every point is going to be really, really valuable."
The Loons, who are just 3-2-7 at home, are just three points above the playoff line.
"This is huge right now for us," defender D.J. Taylor said. "Every match right now is kind of like the MLS Cup final for us. We're just fighting for everything and hopefully we'll win each game as we move forward."
It's the start of a three-game road trip for New England, which will also visit Colorado and Chicago. The Revs come in off a 2-2 draw with Austin FC on Saturday, yielding the tying goal by Alex Ring in the fourth minute of stoppage time. Tomas Chancalay scored both goals for New England.
"We played well enough to get three points," interim head coach Richie Williams said. "At the end of the game we didn't manage the game correctly."
This is the fifth meeting all-time between the two teams. The home team has won every game, with the Revs holding a 3-1-0 series edge.
—Field Level Media