New England came back to beat the New York Red Bulls 3-2 this past weekend, while Nashville extended its unbeaten run to eight games with a 1-1 draw against Toronto.
They have rarely made it easy on themselves, but in the end, New England always seem to find a way to earn three points, just as they did last Saturday at Red Bull Arena.
Last week, for the fourth time this year, they fell behind in the opening 10 minutes of a match, but they fought their way back once again with two goals in the final six minutes plus stoppage time to win 3-2 for their fourth successive victory.
Manager Bruce Arena believes that his side are learning to be a good team, which could be an understatement when considering that they lead the Supporters' Shield race by four points over the Seattle Sounders while also holding an eight-point cushion over Orlando City atop the Eastern Conference.
Regardless of how they get it done, many times in dramatic fashion, the bottom line is that the Revs' patience and persistence eventually pays off as they have scored seven goals this season in the final 10 minutes of a match.
The scary thing for the rest of the league is that the Revs have strung together their current run without some key contributors who were away on international duty for the Gold Cup, so one now has to wonder how much better they will be in the weeks to come.
With their next two games at home against teams in a playoff position, it is an opportunity for them to put even more distance between themselves and the rest of the Eastern Conference.
Nashville is another team that have been finding ways to earn points lately and as a result they have managed to climb their way near the top of the Eastern Conference table.
Despite finding themselves trailing after 19 minutes on Sunday, Gary Smith saw his team answer back with an equaliser towards the end of the first half as they earned their second straight point on the road.
Even though they conceded last weekend for the first time in three games, defensively, they have looked a lot more solid and compact, conceding only two shots on target over their previous two games.
They also hold a victory over the Revolution from earlier this year, one of only three teams to beat them, and they are the only side to keep them goalless throughout 90 minutes, winning 2-0 in Nashville back on May 8.
Interestingly, for a team who are known for their defensive prowess, they do not have a problem clawing their way back into a match, losing only one of their eight fixtures in 2021 in which they have conceded the opening goal.
The next step would be for them to win on the road, something that they have failed to do this year in five encounters, one of only five teams in the league who have not done that yet in 2021.
Goalkeeper Matt Turner will be available again after helping the United States capture the CONCACAF Gold Cup with five clean sheets, while Tajon Buchanan is also back, although Arena did confirm that there are several European clubs who have expressed interest in the young Canadian winger.
Gustavo Bou hit the double-digit mark for goals with his 10th of the season last weekend, while Adam Buksa scored the game-winner in stoppage time, his eighth of this campaign, and Carles Gil continues to be the provider, notching his 14th assist, to lead all MLS players.
Nashville are getting three players back from international duty, but two of them will not be available, as Walker Zimmerman and Anibal Godoy picked up hamstring injuries at the Gold Cup for the US and Panama, respectively.
Goalkeeper Joe Willis has only conceded twice on the last 13 shots that he has faced over their previous four matches, while Robert Castellanos scored his first goal of the season versus Toronto, replacing Jalil Anibaba in central defence.
New England Revolution possible starting lineup:
Turner; Jones, Kessler, Farrell, Bye; Traustason, Polster, McNamara; Gil, Buksa, Bou
Nashville SC possible starting lineup:
Willis; Romney, Castellanos, Miller, Johnston; Washington, McCarty, Muyl, Leal; Sapong, Mukhtar
We say: New England Revolution 1-0 Nashville SC
New England seem to come alive just in the nick of time, but there is no denying how deep they are offensively as 10 different players have at least a goal this season, and they have scored in every one of their home games so far this year.
Nashville have shown that they are a strong side both on and off the ball, but they are missing some critical pieces to their team, and without their defensive anchor, Walker Zimmerman, Willis could see a lot of pressure against a team who have scored 10 goals in their last four home fixtures.