The Columbus Crew and the Philadelphia Union both put point streaks on the line when they clash on Wednesday night in West Chester, Pa.
A fourth straight win would move the Crew (4-2-2, 14 points) ahead of the Union (4-2-3, 15 points), which has used a 4-0-2 run to climb into a second-place tie with Orlando City in the Eastern Conference.
"I think it's a great sign when your group is pretty grounded after winning three in a row and knows that they played well -- and we are playing well -- and we're growing and evolving," Crew coach Caleb Porter said. "We're just scratching the surface of the team that we can be."
Philadelphia rallied from a 2-0 deficit at Atlanta United on Sunday to draw level on an 84th-minute goal from Cory Burke and a sensational 35-yard strike from center back Jakob Glesnes in the third minute of second-half stoppage time.
"We pride ourselves on being an analytical club, but sometimes the expected goals get thrown out," Union coach Jim Curtin said. "I wanted him to take at least 10 more yards before he shot. But to pull up from where he did was a bit audacious, and he shut me up real quick."
The Crew had an emotional match last time out as well when they blanked the Chicago Fire 2-0 before a sellout crowd of 20,064 on Saturday, the final game at Historic Crew Stadium before debuting Lower.com Field on July 3.
As memorable as it was, Gyasi Zardes, who scored twice, said it's time to move on.
"Based on the analytics, if you can string together three wins in a row, even four wins in a row, you shoot up the table," he said. "So that's been a key goal of ours."
Philadelphia and the Crew are meeting for the second time this season. They played a 0-0 draw in Columbus on April 18 in the season opener.
--Field Level Media