The Seattle Sounders are playing some of their best soccer of the season and coming off a thrilling victory with a stoppage-time goal.
The struggling New England Revolution are on the other end of the spectrum, having lost their last game by yielding a tally in stoppage time.
Two clubs heading in opposite directions meet Saturday night, when the surging Sounders look to run their unbeaten streak to eight games against a Revolution team trying to avoid losing four in a row for the first time in nine years.
Seattle (9-8-5) improved to 5-0-2 in league play since July 11 with a dramatic 2-1 win over Chicago last Saturday. Forward Fredy Montero scored his second goal of the game on a header in stoppage time on a perfectly placed ball off the foot of Nathan Sturgis.
"You do all the hard work and when you win one like that and you score late like you do, it's such an outstanding feeling," coach Sigi Schmid told the Sounders' official website. "That's something that sometimes becomes defining moments for teams in a season. Hopefully this will help us in becoming a defining moment for us."
The Revolution (6-12-3), meanwhile, are trying to forget about their last match.
New England appeared to be on the verge of defeating expansion Philadelphia last Saturday, but allowed the tying goal in the 82nd minute and another in stoppage time to lose 2-1. It was the third straight loss for the Revolution, who haven't dropped four in a row since going opening 2001 on a six-game skid.
"It's frustrating as it is. It's disheartening. It's behind us," midfielder Pat Phelan said. "The MLS season for us has been a difficult one, and we're in a difficult situation right now."
New England, which has been outscored 8-2 during its slide, has dropped eight points out of the final spot with nine games left. The club hasn't missed the playoffs since 2001.
Seattle's postseason hopes look solid, thanks to its current run. The Sounders, who advanced to the title game of the U.S. Open Cup with a 3-1 victory over Chivas USA on Wednesday, have the league's sixth-best record, and a five-point lead over Toronto FC, which is just outside of the top eight.
"It's all about us gathering points, and we're now at a level where we have 32 points in 22 games,'' Schmid said. "So we're getting close to that average of 1 1/2-point average per game that we need (to make the playoffs).''
Montero has been instrumental to the playoff push.
He has five goals and three assists during the unbeaten streak, and has tallied a point in 10 of the last 11 games. That stretch began with a goal and an assist in a 3-0 win over the Revolution on June 5.
Gonzalez and Steve Zakuani also scored for Seattle in the first meeting, while goalkeeper Kasey Keller stopped the lone shot on goal.
Keller has started each game of the unbeaten streak, stopping 20 of 24 shots while notching four shutouts.