Interim manager Jim Curtin doesn't have much time for adjustments when the Union resume their Major League Soccer schedule Saturday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., against the New England Revolution.
He inherits a team precariously low in the standings and with no room for a losing streak.
The Union (3-7-6, eighth in the East) defeated the Revolution, 1-0, in their home opener March 15 when forward Sebastien Le Toux scored the only goal in the 30th minute. The Revolution trounced the Union, 5-3, in the rematch in May.
Curtin said even last year's 5-1 drubbing at the hands of the Revolution could represent a potential lesson for his team.
"Any time we play in the up-and-down, wide-open games against them, things haven't gone our way," Curtin said Wednesday. "When we keep things tight and it's more set pieces and restarts type of game, we've come out on top with a 1-0 win."
He knows it may need to be an ugly game for the Union to win.
"It's not necessarily beautiful for the 90 minutes," Curtin said. "It can be one exceptional play that somebody pulls off."
Forward Conor Casey and midfielder Vincent Noguiera will be available for the Union after they were injured and missed the team's last Open Cup game. Curtin said it is likely that Maurice Edu will stay at center back Saturday because of a lack of depth at the position.
"It's a good safety net to have, to know that he can go back there and do a good job and get a result for us," Curtin said. "He's been a warrior in the past few games for us back there."
After starting Andre Blake in goal for the team's two Open Cup games, Curtin wouldn't commit to a starting goalkeeper for Saturday. In all likelihood, he will go back to Zac MacMath, who has started all of the team's MLS games this season.
The Revolution (7-5-2, second in the East) have lost just one game in Foxborough.
They defeated the Rochester Rhinos in the Open Cup on Wednesday. The victory ensured that the Union and the Revolution will meet again on July 8 at PPL Park in the quarterfinals of the Open Cup.