FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – A quick glance at the scoreline from Philadelphia's visit to Chicago in midweek should tell New England all they needs to know about the Union's mindset heading into their match on Saturday night.
John Hackworth's side disrupted the Fire's 15th anniversary celebrations at Toyota Park and stunned the playoff-chasing home side with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday.
Those sorts of results – and the impressive spell the Fire pulled together at the end of last season to spur a likely postseason berth this year – should inspire the Revolution to produce a similar feat at PPL Park on Saturday (7 pm ET, watch LIVE online), according to goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.
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“Although both of us aren't in the playoffs, neither team is going to say it isn't an important game,” Shuttleworth told MLSsoccer.com. “It's important to get results at the end of the year – even if you're out of the playoffs – to transition into next season.
"You can see what happened with Chicago this past year. They've come back and now they're flying a bit. So I think it's important that you're showing you're headed toward winning ways and bring that into the offseason and into the preseason to go straight into the year.”
Revolution coach Jay Heaps said he wants his players to use the final few matches to develop a winning mentality heading into next season. Although the Revs have lost just two games by two or more goals this season, they have not won enough matches to remain in playoff contention.
Heaps said he wants to see his players assert themselves more often at the outset and deploy some of the resolve they have shown in late stages of contests to change that calculus heading into next season.
“Winning is first and foremost and takes front and center,” Heaps said. “There has to be a development of that [concept]. That's where we've been most disappointing, that ability to seize the game when we have the chance or that opportunity is there. We just haven't capitalized enough. We have to go back and continue to push and push.”
It won't be easy to fulfill that objective with Stephen McCarthy (concussion-like symptoms) and Clyde Simms (calf) among the potential absentees for the trip to Chester, but the Revs will enter the first clash between two teams already eliminated playoff contention with the intent to cultivate that mentality with a victory over the Union.
“It's been a struggle here the past couple of seasons,” Shuttleworth said. “We need to get back to those teams before where it was not OK to have a losing feel around here. We need to get back to our winning ways.”