When it comes to making the playoffs, it's looking like a fight to the finish for the New England Revolution and Portland Timbers.
While wins have been hard to come by for both squads of late, the quest for points continues Wednesday night when the goal-hungry Timbers host the Revolution.
New England (10-10-11) is 0-1-3 since beating Chicago on Aug. 24 for its only victory over the last eight (1-2-5) MLS matches. Thankfully for the Revs, they hold the seventh and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference - three points ahead of eighth-place Chicago and six up on 11th-place Columbus.
They've managed draws in the last two matches, most recently in frustrating fashion for a scoreless finish Saturday against a Real Salt Lake side that did not put forth a top-tier lineup.
"One (goal) would have been enough, so it's really frustrating," keeper Matt Turner told the Revolution's official website. "But three games left, a clean sheet to build off, and we'll look towards Portland on Wednesday."
New England is 0-1-3 on the road since winning at FC Cincinnati on July 21, but has earned at least one point in eight of its last nine away from home. The Revs are 0-2-2 all-time at Portland, where the Timbers will conclude a stretch of 10 consecutive home matches.
However, the renovated confines of Providence Park have not been all that kind to the Timbers (13-13-5) of late. Portland is just 4-4-1 during its lengthy home stretch and has failed to score while going 0-2-1 over the last three. That's a big reason it sits just below the below the playoff line in the Western Conference in eighth place, tied on points with seventh-place San Jose but down on the tiebreaker.
The Timbers managed to earn a point through a scoreless draw with Minnesota on Sunday, but are in danger of going four straight league home games without a goal for the first time in club history.
"We have to make sure that we continue to believe in ourselves and hope that these little points here and there are going to help us make the playoffs," coach Giovanni Savarese told the Timbers' official website. "We want to be a little bit more courageous in the sense (that we're) determined to score goals. We'll continue to fight, and as I said, I believe in my players 100 percent."
Savarese admitted his side has looked tired of late, especially considering the number of matches they've had to play this month and also the recent international break where players were in action elsewhere. Brian Fernandez might be one of them. He's scored 11 goals in 18 MLS games, but only one in his last six.
New England's Gustavo Bou (seven goals), who has been dealing with a knock, has just one goal in his last three matches.
Updated September 23, 2019