Foxborough, MA – There is, perhaps, no hotter team in Major League Soccer at the moment than the New England Revolution.
Even while the Portland Timbers enter the weekend on an 11-match unbeaten run, the Revs have won their last three league contests by a combined score of 9-0.
New England will be out to keep a fourth consecutive clean sheet in the final match of a three-game homestand when it welcomes D.C. United to Gillette Stadium on Saturday.
After back-to-back 2-0 wins over the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium and Toronto FC in Foxborough, the Revs ran out to a resounding 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy last time out. It was a surprising output given the fact that it was just the Revolution's fourth match this season in which they managed more than one goal and the first time in which they produced more than two.
Kelyn Rowe's switch from a wide position to a more central role has coincided with New England's resurgence. The 21-year-old is one of the Revolution's brightest stars and has blossomed as the focal point in the club's new 4-1-4-1 formation.
"I think (playing centrally) maximizes a lot because on the wing I was kind of (playing) in two different directions; it was up and back," Rowe told the club's official website. "Now in the midfield, I can go any which way and in the center I'm very confident and very comfortable.
"It's easier to find the ball. The combination between Lee (Nguyen), myself, Scotty (Caldwell), Juan Toja and anyone coming into that spot, we have a great connection. I think those triangles are working really well."
Rowe is coming off of an impressive week in which he tallied three goals and three assists in 123 minutes of play during Tuesday's U.S. Open Cup victory over the Rochester Rhinos and Sunday's demolition of the Galaxy.
"I think my confidence is up, definitely, because I got those goals finally," Rowe continued. "I'd been searching for them and I've been pretty close. As an attacking midfielder, you want to score goals, but you also want to be able to set them up. I was setting them up, and now I'm finally starting to score."
Rowe and the Revs will come up against a D.C. side that is winless since March 9, a run of 11 matches from which the club has managed just two points.
United boasts an MLS-worst goal differential of -18 and has scored an MLS-low six goals in 13 games.
With seemingly everything going wrong for the club, Chris Pontius was at a virtual loss for words following United's 2-0 loss to the Chicago Fire at the weekend.
"We've been trying to reset ourselves after every game," he said. "We have to figure this out. We have to figure this out."