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MLS-best Revs, refusing to look ahead, focus on NYCFC

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The New England Revolution are running away with the Eastern Conference race as they enter Saturday’s match against New York City FC at Yankee Stadium.

The Revolution (15-3-4, 49 points) are 8-0-1 since their last setback in early July, and were 15 points ahead of second-place Orlando City in the East entering Friday. Orlando City hosts Inter Miami CF on Friday night.

New England also holds a seven-point lead over the Western Conference-leading Seattle Sounders in the battle for the Supporters’ Shield. The 49 points tie Los Angeles FC in 2019 for the most through 22 games of an MLS season.

Despite the torrid stretch, nobody associated with New England wants to let their feet off the gas pedal.

“You don’t look at the big picture,” Revolution midfielder Scott Caldwell told reporters. “You try to get three points and then move on from there. I think everyone has pushed really hard and done a great job of performing when they’re on the field. It’s gone really well and we just have to continue that.”

The recent hot stretch has been accomplished even though star midfielder Carles Gil is sidelined with a sports hernia. He will miss his sixth straight match on Saturday.

Forwards Gustavo Bou (12 goals) and Adam Buksa (10) have been superb for New England. Buksa scored two goals in a 4-1 win over FC Cincinnati on Aug. 21.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Matt Turner (four shutouts) was named MVP for making two saves during a shootout as the MLS All-Stars beat the Liga MX All-Stars on Wednesday.

New York City FC (9-6-4, 31 points) is in fifth place in the East. The club lost 3-2 to the Revolution on June 19 when New England midfielder Tommy McNamara scored the winning goal in the 88th minute.

NYCFC, who is 7-2-1 at home, is aware it will be a challenge to slay the Revolution.

“New England have been unbelievably good, they hardly lose,” NYCFC coach Ronny Deila told reporters. “They have a big gap to the others. … We’re a good football team, but we have to keep improving.”

NYCFC haven’t played since a 1-0 road loss against the Philadelphia Union on Aug. 18. Last Saturday’s scheduled game with the New York Red Bulls was postponed due to an unplayable field at Harrison, N.J. as a storm battered the area.

Forward Valentin Castellanos leads NYCFC with eight goals. Midfielder Jesus Medina and forward Ismael Tajouri-Shradi have seven apiece.

–Field Level Media

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