Danny Mwanga (L) and Darrius Barnes fight for a loose ball in the Union's 2-1 win in '10.
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Union refuse to underestimate struggling Revs

The statistics are telling: 3-8-7, last place in the Eastern Conference with 16 points.

The current streak is also telling: winless in their last eight matches.

Yes, the New England Revolution are a struggling Major League Soccer club. Their 16 points is the lowest 18-game mark since posting 13 points (5-13-0) in 1998.

But, truthfully, what do these numbers mean when the Union visit Gillette Stadium Sunday night (7:00pm, Comcast SportsNet)?

Not all that much.

In MLS, any game, especially an away contest, is difficult.

The Union (7-4-7) went into the weekend tied with the New York Red Bulls for first place in the Eastern Conference. After Sunday night, manager Peter Nowak's side would sure like to own 31 points.

“Standings in our league don’t matter,” Nowak said.

“Our goal is always to get three points,” said Gabriel Farfan, who was very effective at left back in a 90-minute stint last Saturday in a scoreless draw at San Jose. “We hope to come back with three points and get ready for the two tough friendly matches against Everton and Real Madrid.”

This will mark the first of two meetings this season between the Revolution and Union. New England will travel to PPL Park on Sunday, Aug. 28.

While the numbers don’t necessarily mean a whole lot, the Union need to stockpile points against a struggling club. It would be a major confidence boost heading into next week.

“We have a couple of friendlies and it would be very nice to come back with three points,” said defender Sheanon Williams. “We’re always trying to get the three points. That’s always our goal. We’re a confident club. It would be a very good feeling to win the match and then prepare for the week ahead.”

The Union will conclude their three-match road trip with Sunday’s match at New England. They tied D.C. United 2-2 and also played to a scoreless draw against the Earthquakes.

Over the past four matches, the Union are 1-0-3 — also mixed in is a tie against Sporting Kansas City and a 3-2 win over Chivas USA.

For Sunday, forward Veljko Paunovic is listed doubtful with a left hip strain, while Justin Mapp is questionable with a left hamstring strain.

No matter who’s on the active roster for, the Union will be pushing for a similar result to last season's, when they came back from down a goal to win 2-1 in thrilling fashion.

This time, an early goal wouldn’t hurt.

“I think our confidence is much better to get the early goal,” Nowak said. “We get the thing done and keep playing that way. We have scored the early goal and everything gets a little easier for us.”


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Dellacamera on Union-Revolution

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