Foxborough, MA – The Columbus Crew will be returning to action for the first time in three weeks on Saturday when the club visits Gillette Stadium to face the New England Revolution.
The Crew carries a five-game unbeaten streak into the match after securing a 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire last time out on May 26, while the Revs also defeated Chicago in their last match, beating the Fire 2-0 on June 2.
New England has posted a 4-1-1 mark at Gillette Stadium this season, and is unbeaten at home in its last four games.
And with four of the team's next five contests coming on home soil, Jay Heaps will be hoping his team can continue a run of seven points from its last four games.
One player who has emerged for Heaps' side is rookie Kelyn Rowe, who came off the bench to score a goal and assist on another in the 2-0 win over the Fire.
"He's been pushing hard lately," Heaps said of Rowe. "I think you saw when he came into the game, there was a different buzz about him. He almost scored the first time. It was a great run... Then the first and second goals were beautiful from Kelyn. He's smart, he's played quickly. We like getting him in those situations where he can be a dynamic attacker for us."
The win over Chicago also marked the second clean sheet of the season for the Revs, with the first coming March 24 against Portland.
Columbus has also been boosted by a good run of form from one of its forwards as striker Emilio Renteria has scored in back-to-back games after going the first 10 matches of the season without a goal.
Renteria scored eight times last term for the Crew, and although he is pleased with his recent run, he knows that more goals must follow in order for him to feel like he is doing his job.
"I feel better, but I'm always under pressure because it's my job to score goals," Renteria said. "That���s what I want to do. That's why I decided to be a forward. The most important thing is the team won and I helped not only scoring, but doing everything the coach asked. I'm happy for the three points."
The lengthy time off has allowed rookie forward Aaron Schoenfeld to recover from a foot injury, but a number of Crew players are back on the sidelines as midfielders Dilly Duka and Milovan Mirosevic as well as defenders Shaun Francis and Nemanja Vukovic are battling injuries.
Columbus sustained a surprising 2-1 defeat to Dayton Dutch Lions at Crew Stadium in the U.S. Open Cup, but coach Robert Warzycha will be hoping his team can rebound and continue its run of success against the Revs in recent years.
In the last 10 matches between the two sides, Columbus has won seven games with a draw while New England's last home win in the series came back on Oct. 14, 2006.