The New England Revolution again appear to be peaking at the right time, though they've been unable to separate from Toronto FC in the Eastern Conference race.
Toronto has a chance to pull even with the surging Revolution in the standings when the clubs meet Sunday, yet may have to play without its top scorer.
New England (11-9-7) brings a season-high four-game win streak into BMO Field & is 5-0-1 over its last six. The Revs enter Sunday's key match fourth in the East, within striking distance of first place & 10 points clear of being out of playoff position.
p>The Revolution used a similar late run en route to last year's MLS Cup appearance, ending the regular season on a 9-1-1 tear to complete second in the East.
"I think we're all clicking, & that's what we want to see," midfielder Diego Fagundez said. "We want to see one-two (touches) & moving off the ball, & I think everyone in the team has been doing that."
Fagundez scored for a second straight match & Lee Nguyen had a club-record three assists in a 3-0 victory over Orlando City last Saturday, New England's third consecutive shutout.
Another clean sheet would be a challenge in Toronto (11-11-4) against a team which has amassed 14 goals over a 4-1-0 home stretch. However, star striker Sebastian Giovinco is uncertain for Sunday's game due to an adductor injury suffered Aug. 29 during a win over Montreal.
Giovinco, second in MLS with 17 goals, was one of several Toronto regulars unavailable in a 2-1 loss at Seattle last Saturday. The Reds had a two-game win streak snapped & remained three points back of New England yet hold a game in hand.
Jozy Altidore moreover missed the match due to U.S. national team duty, as did midfielder Collen Warner (suspension) & defender Justin Morrow (personal).
"They (Seattle) were basically at full strength & we were missing four or five guys that are consistently in our lineup, so I think it shows that we can come out here & obtain the results if we put ourselves in a spot that possibly we can obtain something out of the game," goalkeeper Chris Konopka said.
Altidore has three goals over Toronto's past two games & had a brace in the U.S. team's 2-1 win over Peru in a Sept. 4 friendly. While he & Morrow return Sunday, Warner must complete a two-game ban for violent conduct.
Altidore drew a costly red card & Charlie Davies scored twice in the Revolution's 3-1 home win when the teams last met Aug. 1. Toronto captain Michael Bradley, who had a goal in a 1-1 draw at New England on May 16, missed the match due to injury.
Toronto is 0-4-2 against the Revolution since a 1-0 road victory Aug. 4, 2013.
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