It might seem like it was just the other day when the Columbus Crew and the New England Revolution last played. That's probably because it was. Just 14 days separate the last match in the series - a 1-0 win for the Crew - yet the two teams meet again on Saturday in another big game for both clubs.
Since the last meeting, New England has only played one match, a 3-2 win over Sporting Kansas City on the road. In that game, the Revolution went up 2-0 in the first half, but couldn't hold on to that lead, allowing Kansas City to score twice within two minutes in the second half.
New England got early goals from Kelyn Rowe and center back José Gonçalves before Sporting came surging back early in the second half. It was recently signed Designated Player Jermaine Jones who gave the Revs the late lead and the win, firing a long-range strike for his first MLS goal.
The Black and Gold caught a break two weeks ago as Jones came into the game with a bit of knock and did not start the match. The U.S. midfielder played just 45 minutes coming on as a halftime substitute, but should be ready to start this time around.
"He controls the game," Berhalter said of Jones. "He has the most touches pre game in the league so he's very active and what we want to do is close him down and not give him enough time to play."
The Crew did a good job on Jones once he entered the match, not allowing him to get the ball in the positions he desires and keeping him from doing much when he did receive it. They will look for similar results for the entire match on Saturday, as the Revolution are 4-0-0 in games Jones has started.
Because of his success with the U.S. national team and his Designated Player status, Jones has garnered much of the attention since joining New England, but it is the collective talent of the group that has helped them to second place in the Eastern Conference.
"They have a good team," Berhalter said this week of the Revolution.
"When you look at Jermaine Jones, Lee Nguyen, [Daigo Kobayashi], and [Scott Caldwell,] that's a good group, that's a good midfield. I like ours but I think that's a pretty good midfield as well."
Nguyen has been the star for New England this season, scoring 13 goals and contributing five assists. Although he wasn't able to get his team on the score sheet in Columbus, he remains a threat every time he takes the field.
The Revolution are looking to get something out of this game, not just to help them in the standings but to also avoid being swept by the Crew, who won the first game of the series 2-1 in New England in July.
For the Black and Gold, a win would continue their good run of form and could, if other results go their way, see them jump the Revs in the standings and take hold of second place in the East. Although this is an exciting prospect for the club, Berhalter says their approach does not change.
"Business as usual. One game at a time. We've been doing that all year, it doesn't change now."
It has worked to get them this far, so why not again in New England?