The Chicago Fire's defense has been spotless under new coach Frank Klopas. That should be a major advantage in their next game.
The Fire have posted three straight shutouts under Klopas and go on the road Saturday night to try to stretch the New England Revolution's winless streak to six games.
Klopas replaced Carlos de los Cobos on May 30 as interim coach. Chicago (2-4-8) extended its winless streak to 11 games (0-4-7) with scoreless draws in its first two matches under him before Sunday's 1-0 victory at Columbus.
Substitute Cristian Nazarit scored on a rebound in stoppage time after Orr Barouch's shot was saved by William Hesmer.
"We needed a win," Barouch said. "We've had a lot of ties and some games haven't been going our way."
Chicago looks like a vastly improved team after conceding six goals over its final three games under de los Cobos.
"I think everyone is just maturing," Fire defender Gonzalo Segares told the league's official website. "I think the younger guys are maturing in those positions and we're not making the same mental mistakes that we were making at the beginning. I think we're sharper."
Klopas has installed a new system in which every player on the field has defensive duties, and not just the back line.
"It's just a different mentality, a different approach to the game," Klopas said. "It's not just the back four or five or six; defending as a team starts on top with the forwards.
The Fire may not need to play great defense against New England (3-7-5), which has scored a league-low 11 goals - one in the past four games. The Revolution have failed to score in the first half of eight straight matches following a scoreless draw with Toronto FC on Wednesday.
New England finished with season highs of 19 shots and 11 corner kicks but could not break through.
"We need to score goals," coach Steve Nicol said. "We put pressure on them, which we wanted to do, make it hard for them. We did that. But again, we come back to the crux that we're just lacking that killer pass or that killer finish or killer run."
Midfielder Shalrie Joseph has four goals, but none of his teammates have more than one. Kenny Mansally entered the lineup after providing a spark off the bench in last Friday's 2-1 loss at New York, but didn't have enough of an impact Wednesday.
"We're just going to put this one behind us and continue to work and continue to look forward," New England defender Darrius Barnes said Wednesday. "We have a big game on Saturday against Chicago."
Chicago has enjoyed plenty of success over the years against New England, going 6-0-2 over the last eight regular-season meetings after winning both matchups in 2010. The Fire also eliminated the Revolution from the playoffs in 2008 and 2009.
Chicago continues to be without Marco Pappa, tied with Diego Chaves for the team lead with four goals. Pappa is playing for Guatemala in the Gold Cup.