The New England Revolution have lost just twice in their past 15 games despite battling through injuries, yet have struggled to rise in the Eastern Conference as they prepare to meet struggling D.C. United on Saturday.
Gustavo Bou, tied for the club lead with seven goals, has missed the Revolution's last three games to injury, as has winger Dylan Borrero. Both are listed with leg injuries.
The defending Supporters' Shield winners (7-7-9, 30 points) have tied eight of their last 15 games, while winning five, leaving them in a four-way tie on points for seventh in the East, while sitting 10th on tiebreakers.
Bou and Borrero are both listed as questionable for Saturday's game against last-place D.C. United. Without them, New England still managed a 3-0 victory last weekend at Orlando City, breaking a six-game winless streak.
"We've had injuries. It's unfortunate," Revolution coach Bruce Arena said. "It's life and we'll probably continue to have some sort of injuries as we move through the month of August, so we'll anticipate we'll have to make some changes as we did in our last game in Orlando."
What the Revs have done well while missing key players is refocus their energies toward defense, earning three consecutive shutouts to double their total on the season.
D.C. United (6-13-4, 22 points) have also been focused toward the back since coach Wayne Rooney took over three games ago.
The results have been improved but still inconsistent. Last weekend, the Black-and-Red recorded their first shutout since early May in a 0-0 home draw with the New York Red Bulls. They have four points from Rooney's tenure so far.
"Ultimately, I thought we defended really well," Rooney said. "We defended set pieces well. And for us to move forward, we have to be better defensively. It's something we've (spoken) about. So it's a real positive for us."
Friday the club announced that defender Brendan Hines-Ike will miss the rest of the season following foot surgery. He last played on Aug. 3.
Iceland international Victor Paulsen could make his D.C. United debut Saturday, and former Crystal Palace attacker Christian Benteke has arrived in the U.S. but is unlikely to debut after completing his transfer earlier this month.
Taxi Fountas leads D.C. United with 11 goals and Ola Kamara has seven in MLS action.
--Field Level Media