for this game

Wizards-Revolution Preview

Sep 4, 2009 - 9:29 PM By BRETT HUSTON STATS Writer

Kansas City (5-10-6) at New England (9-6-6), 7:30 p.m. EDT

A loss and a tie to the Kansas City Wizards were part of a three-game winless stretch for the New England Revolution earlier this season.

Since then, they have been the hottest team in MLS.

The Revolution go for their fourth consecutive victory Saturday night when they host the reeling Wizards, who haven't won since June and didn't score a goal in August.

New England (9-6-6) was 4-5-5 after a scoreless draw with Kansas City on July 11, its first point in three games after falling 1-0 to Los Angeles on July 4 and 3-1 to the Wizards on June 13.

That was Kansas City's last MLS win, but the Revolution are on a tear since that 0-2-1 stretch, going 5-1-1 in seven matches.

Steve Ralston scored one goal and assisted on another in a 2-1 win over San Jose last Saturday, moving New England into third in the Eastern Conference. The Revolution are five points behind second-place Chicago, but have three games in hand on the Fire.

"When you get to this stage in the season, it's about results," said coach Steve Nicol, who has led the Revs into the playoffs in each of his seven seasons with New England. "You don't get any points for playing silky soccer and losing games. You get points for winning at this stage of the year. If we can play well at the same time, then that's fantastic - and we want to."

While New England scored six goals during its three-game winning streak, the Wizards (5-10-6) didn't record any during an 0-4-0 August. They were outscored 10-0 in those losses and are 0-5-2 since beating the Revs in June.

Real Salt Lake was the latest team to take advantage of interim coach Peter Vermes' stumbling club, scoring in the 18th minute Saturday and hanging on for a 1-0 road win.

Kansas City's last goal came on Claudio Lopez's shot from beyond midfield in a 1-all draw with Los Angeles on July 25. The Wizards haven't been shut out in four straight games since July 4-19, 2000.

"The only thing you can do is keep working on finishing and keep working on trying to build those chances up through the run of play and through the way we play," said Vermes, 0-3 since taking over for the fired Curt Onalfo on Aug. 4. "At some point, we have to get that goal."

One change Vermes made in the loss to Salt Lake was using Chance Myers, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 SuperDraft, in the second half for his first action this season. The midfielder was limited to 10 games last season after coming down with mononucleosis, and broke his toe this preseason.

Kansas City is 6-1-5 at Gillette Stadium after the tie in its July visit. Lopez and Davy Arnaud scored in a 3-1 win at Foxborough on Oct. 25.