It has been an eight-month span the Revolution would like to put in their rearview mirror as soon as possible.
They have struggled through the longest winless streak in team history (going 0-7-3 in 10 games), they couldn’t win more than two in a row at any point, and they missed the playoffs for a record third straight season.
The Revolution can begin to distance themselves from this dismal season Saturday, but not before they travel to Montreal to face off once more with the expansion Impact at Stade Saputo.
If they can muster a win, it will be only the second time all season the Revolution (8-17-8) have won back-to-back games. That could be a tall order for a team that hasn’t won a season finale since 1999 and dropped their first two matches against the MLS’s newest team, 2-1 and 1-0.
Bobby Shuttleworth (2-3-1, 0.83 goals against average) will close out the season in net for New England. It is the fifth straight start for the 25-year-old, who picked up his second win of the season in a 1-0 shutout of Chicago last Saturday.
Despite a quadricep strain, midfielder Clyde Simms, who has worn the captain’s armband the last three games, is expected to be in the starting lineup.
The Impact (12-15-6) tied their last three opponents and have not lost in their last seven home games (6-0-1). Montreal keeper Troy Perkins has an 0.86 goals against average, with clean sheets in four of his eight starts since being traded from Portland, including a 1-0 win in Foxborough Aug. 12.
If this season has provided anything for the fans in the Fort, it is hope, with the Revolution’s youth brigade logging some major minutes down the stretch.
Seventeen-year-old Diego Fagundez, who has started six of the last seven matches, has shown flashes of what he can provide on the attack, with a goal and two assists in the last six games, and 20-year-old midfielder Kelyn Rowe has put together a solid rookie campaign with three goals and a team-high five assists that put him in a tie for fourth-most points among first-year players in the league. With fellow starters A.J. Soares, Dimitry Imbongo, Kevin Alston and Blair Gavin all under 25, the future looks bright for the Revolution.
First they must finish the present and going out on a winning note could help provide a boost heading into 2013, where the Revolution will kick things off in the Desert Diamond Cup, a preseason tournament that kicks off Feb. 13.Craig Forde can be reached at email@example.com. You can follow him on Twitter @BeyondFenway.