MLS Preview from The Sports Network (ET)

 

The Sports Network

D.C. United (5-3-2) at New England (6-3-2), 7:30 p.m.

Foxborough, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - The red-hot New England Revolution will hope to continue their stunning form on Saturday when they welcome D.C. United to Gillette Stadium.

There is no hotter team in MLS at the moment than the Revs, who have gone 5-0-1 over their last six games while putting up five goals in two consecutive matches.

New England stunned Seattle Sounders FC by getting a 5-0 victory on May 11, and the club managed to continue its offensive surge by blowing past the Philadelphia Union in a 5-3 win at PPL Park last weekend.

But while Lee Nguyen, Patrick Mullins and Diego Fagundez continue to grab headlines by scoring goals, the team raves about Daigo Kobayashi, who has become an unsung hero.

"He's been spot on," Revs head coach Jay Heaps told the club's official website about the former Vancouver Whitecaps FC midfielder. "He and (Andy) Dorman have just really allowed our other guys to play.

"Daigo reads the game so well. His first touch is one of the best in the league and his game awareness is world class. You can see he's been in big games. He knows how to settle a game down, he knows how to win balls back and he knows how to pressure, so he's been an excellent addition to our team."

Kobayashi has not logged a goal with the Revs just yet, but his three assists thus far ties him with Teal Bunbury for the team-high.

"Daigo has been unbelievable all season," Bunbury told New England's official website. "When he's on the ball, he's so technical. Even when you don't think he sees you making a run, he can find you that ball. Overall, his defensive work, his attacking presence - he's been having a great season."

D.C. will have the daunting task of trying to contain the surging Revs offense, but if recent results are any indication, United should be up for the challenge.

Ben Olsen's men have taken seven points from their last three league games, conceding just one goal over that stretch.

The club is coming off of a 2-0 home victory over the Houston Dynamo, a result made by solid performances all over the pitch.

"I'm obviously pleased," Olsen said after the match. "A shutout, a few goals, dominating possession and some good attacks. Overall, very pleased with the night.

"I think we've got to be somewhat realistic about the energy level (Houston) brought, and they were obviously missing some key guys. But, you know, I thought we took advantage of them on an off night and I thought we did a very good job. I thought (Chris) Rolfe and (Fabian Espindola) were very, very busy and I thought Lewis Neal really helped in the midfield overloading and giving us the advantage centrally for possession. Outside backs were aggressive, center backs dealt with their big boys very well and Bill (Hamid) made a save or two that kept us in, so all around a good night."

New England and D.C. have met once already this season with United earning a 2-0 victory at RFK Stadium on April 5. It should give a bit of extra motivation to the Revs, who have not lost a league game since that match.

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