BARCELONA, Spain (AP) – The Columbus Crew have been shut out four times in their last seven games. However, they've experienced a lot of success in Foxborough, Mass., in recent years.
The Eastern Conference-leading Crew look to extend their unbeaten streak on the road against the New England Revolution to six games as the teams face off Saturday night.
Since a 4-1 win over Colorado on Jun 26, Columbus (9-7-7) has struggled offensively, scoring four goals in seven games. The Crew fell 2-0 to the Rapids last Friday, snapping a two-game winning streak.
Columbus could be further challenged offensively without Eddie Gaven. The midfielder, who has four goals in 2011, is not expected to play after suffering an Achilles' injury just seven minutes into last week's match.
"He's got a big bruise," coach Robert Warzycha told MLS.com. "It's an important game for us, but for me, it's important he is healthy."
His injury comes at a bad time. Columbus leads the conference with 34 points, but Philadelphia is just one point behind while New York and Sporting KC are next with 30 apiece.
"A lot of our focus has been on raising our intensity and being more aggressive," goalkeeper William Hesmer said. "I feel like we were too lethargic in Colorado. We let them dictate too much of the game."
Columbus is 3-0-2 in its last five matches in Foxborough since a 1-0 loss in 2006.
The Crew have a good chance to extend that success given New England's struggles. The Revolution (4-10-9) are in seventh place in the East, two points out of last place.
New England has one win in its last 13 matches (1-7-5). The Revolution fell 3-2 to Chivas last Saturday. Shalrie Joseph scored his team-best seventh goal on a penalty kick in the 69th minute to pull the Revolution within 2-1, but Chivas restored the two-goal lead in the 80th minute.
"I'll always defend the players, but occasionally when your defense gives up goals like that, there's no hiding place. The goals were atrocious. And really, defensively, we let down the rest of the team tonight," coach Steve Nicol said. "We made some great chances - fantastic chances when you think about when we should've scored - and we've lost again."
It's the third time in six games New England has given up three goals. The Revolution are the lowest-scoring team in the MLS, and their porous defense isn't making things easier.
However, they remain optimistic that the offense is going to start coming together once designated player Milton Caraglio and 16-year-old Diego Fagundez become more comfortable with the system. Fagundez scored in the 86th minute of his MLS debut.
"He just likes to play, you can see his enthusiasm," Nicol said. "He did a fantastic job - he gets the penalty, he gets the goal; what more can you ask for?"
New England is 1-0-3 in its last four road games.