Hernan Losada insists there is no pressure on D.C. United to secure a playoff spot, as the coach hailed an "incredible" campaign ahead of Wednesday's clash with MLS leaders the New England Revolution.
D.C. drew 0-0 with Nashville SC last time out, leaving them sixth in the Eastern Conference, with a playoff position well up for grabs.
Losada's team have been entertaining this season, though their coach believes they are outperforming the levels expected of them at the start of the year.
As such, he was adamant there was no pressure heading into Wednesday's contest with a New England team that has accumulated 66 points in 2021 - nine more than any other side.
"We are in a place where, compared to the start of the season and with the squad we have, it is incredible," said Losada.
"We still have five games to go and once again we have nothing to lose. There is absolutely no pressure on this team.
"We still have superior performance and are doing great things with limited resources. I am happy with the mentality of this team. It is always something that respects."
New England coach Bruce Arena, meanwhile, was left frustrated after his team let a lead slip late on in a 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire last time out.
"We should have won that game, we had chances to get the third goal, we should have been better closing out the game at the end," said Arena.
"It could have been better, for sure, we had plenty of opportunities to get the third goal. The ball had to move a little quicker and the decision making had to be a little better."
D.C. United - Ola Kamara
Ola Kamara still leads the way in MLS this season, with 17 goals in 23 appearances. However, he has not yet scored in October, failing to do so in his last two games.
New England Revolution - Carles Gil
From his position behind the strikers, Carles Gil thrived against Chicago, creating a team-leading five chances, including an assist for what looked set to be a winner from Gustavo Bou.
●The Revolution have won their last five matches against D.C., including both matches this year. That run equals the longest winning streak by either team in the series, with New England matching its own run of five straight wins from May 2009 to July 2011.
●D.C.'s scoreless draw with Nashville on Saturday extended its home unbeaten run to five matches (W4 D1), its longest since May-July 2019. This is the first time D.C. has collected 13 points in a five-match span at home since October 2018 to March 2019.
●New England's draw with Chicago on Saturday kept them ahead of the pace for the most points in a single season in MLS history with 66 through 30 games, one more than the LA Galaxy had at this stage in 1998. The Revs are already ahead of the pace after 31 games, which is also 65, by the Galaxy in 1998 and LAFC in 2019.
●D.C. has scored an MLS-high 10 goals in the opening 15 minutes of matches this season. Seven different D.C. players have scored a goal in the first 15 minutes, with Nigel Robertha, Kamara, and Paul Arriola each doing so twice.
●New England conceded a late equalizer in a 2-2 draw with the Fire on Saturday. It was the first time the Revs failed to win a home match in which they led at any point since a 1-1 draw with Chicago in March 2020. New England had won its previous 13 such games before Saturday.
Updated October 20, 2021