Something has to give.

The most excitement at a Union game in the last month has been a raccoon taking a victory lap around Subaru Park. It was the right time for a little levity considering a turn of the season that has been anything but fun to watch.

After being the only undefeated team in MLS through early April, the Union have lost four of their last five league matches, the latest a 2-1 loss to New York City FC at home Wednesday. The worst part? Four of those losses have been at Subaru Park, where the Union have won just once this year, but that came nearly two months ago in a 2-0 victory over Minnesota United on March 30.

“We’ve become uncharacteristically fragile at home, which hurts,” Union coach Jim Curtin said following the loss to NYCFC. “We have to find a way to get out of this. We’re the only people that are going to get us out of it.”

All of this as the club heads to New England for a Saturday match (7:30 p.m., Apple TV). Fans won’t need to be MLS Season Pass subscribers, as Apple plans to make this one a freebie.

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Scouting New England

As far as rebound games, having the Revolution next up on the schedule bodes well for a Union side that seems comfortable playing away from friendly confines. Also — and perhaps undeniable right now — is that while the results necessarily don’t depict it, the Union has a much more advanced attacking corps than that of New England.

The Revolution (2-8-1, 7 points) wallow at the bottom of the Eastern Conference and have just scored nine goals in 11 league matches. Defensively, it’s been easy for opposing teams to find gaps and passing lanes along the slightly modified version of the 4-4-2 formation employed by Revs coach Caleb Porter. This is a bonus for attack-minded Union players like Julián Carranza, Dániel Gazdag, and Mikael Uhre to try and exploit.

“Going on the road to play a New England team that will be fully fresh, we’ll have some changes obviously to keep guys fresh in our group,” Curtin said during his news conference on Friday. “Everybody needs to be ready, whether you’re called upon for 45 minutes, 60, 90, or one minute to help close the game out. That’s been the message to the group.”

Offensively, it appears the Revs will have speedy winger Dylan Borrero, who shook off what first looked like a bad knee injury after leaving the field via stretcher against the New York Red Bulls on May 11. He’s been an active participant in training, according to the team’s website. Porter surmised that Borrero “will be fine.”

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However, the man the Union will need to put clamps on defensively is Spanish midfielder Carles Gil, who leads the team with four goals this season and recently notched his 100th MLS goal last Saturday. Gil has quick feet to put himself into space and an even speedier shot — that generally finds the frame.

Semmle still in, Blake is still out

Andre Blake is getting close to a return from a knee injury that has kept him out of a few games. With Blake still working out with the reserve goalkeepers, though, Oliver Semmle may get another start in goal against the Revs. However, Blake is listed as questionable and could even find himself on the plane to Foxborough, Mass.

“Andre’s been on the field, I’ll just say, say more this week, which is positive,” said Curtin.” Still haven’t decided whether he’ll be able to make the trip or not yet. We’ll have a discussion right now about that. But obviously, he’s missed, and [the] continuity of the group loses an important piece when you lose the best goalkeeper in the league.”

Semmle’s first goal allowed in Wednesday’s loss to NYCFC could have been a save, but one could argue that Semmle — despite misjudging the timing of his jump at the ball — can’t entirely be held at fault on NYCFC’s second goal. That goal, a whipping free kick from NYCFC’s Hannes Wolf, pinged off the back post where no Union defender stood guard.

A marked post and we might be talking about a much different game and not the club’s second loss in as many matches. Semmle made five saves on seven shots against NYCFC and enters Saturday’s match with 32 saves on the season, tied for 12th best in MLS.

Looking ahead

After Saturday’s game against the Revs, the Union will finish May with three more games in a week, traveling for a Saturday night game against Charlotte on May 25 (7:30 p.m., Apple TV) before trying to kick-start a winning streak at home against Toronto on May 29 (7:30 p.m., Apple TV) and a June 1 match against Montreal, on what’s slated to be Alumni Night at Subaru Park.


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