Fixing the Attack

Revolution midfielder/forward Ryan Guy spoke about the team's attacking ails after Saturday's 1-0 loss to FC Dallas. (Photo: Kari Heistad/CapturedImages.biz)

Revolution midfielder/forward Ryan Guy spoke about the team’s attacking ails after Saturday’s 1-0 loss to FC Dallas. (Photo: Kari Heistad/CapturedImages.biz)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – It’s not a reach to say that the Revolution are probably going to focus on honing the attack during the next two weeks of training.

But according to midfielder/forward Ryan Guy, nothing sharpens the form better than game action.

“There’s only so much you can do on the training pitch,” Guy said after Saturday’s game. “Once you get on the field, especially against high-level opposition, it does change things a little bit and your chemistry is tested. I think that’s what’s going on: we’re going through a feeling out period of one another.”

In the last four games, the Revolution have used five different central midfielders, and three different outside winger sets. Some of the changes are due to injuries, while others are due to specific matchups. But both have conspired to keep Heaps from fielding a consistent lineup, or formation, for that matter.

“Definitely,” Guy said. “A lot of us have talked about (finding a preferred formation). I think once we get that formation settled, and we probably will, we’re a team where we have so much depth that we’ll probably have a couple of formations.”

So far, Jay Heaps has used the 4-2-3-1, but with subtle tweaks in each of the team’s first four games. While Saturday’s formation resembled a 4-4-2, Guy said his role wasn’t as cut and dried as it appeared.

“This one was a little strange because (my position) really wasn’t a striker position,” Guy said. “It was more of a center midfield position (but) it wasn’t quite working the way we had hoped.”

Guy admitted that it took the team “a good 40-45 minutes” to get used to the intricacies of the formation used on Saturday, even though they’d practiced it on the training pitch. He said that much of the team’s success within that alignment rested on his familiarity with Juan Toja, and that there were some obvious growing pains.

But even so, the third-year Revolution veteran believes that even though the club’s only scored one goal through its first four, it’s just a matter of time before it all comes together.

“Once we get comfortable with those couple formations, it’s going to be very hard to defend,” Guy said. “I just think unfortunately, some of these things take time. The more we’re going to play, I think the better it’s going to look, the better it’s going to feel and I think the easier it’s going to come and the result of all those things is goals.”

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About Brian O'Connell

Brian O'Connell serves as editor and staff writer at New England Soccer Today. He's also the Revolution beat writer for ESPNBoston.com, and is Officer at Large for the North American Soccer Reporters. He's contributed to The Associated Press, The Canadian Press, and has been featured on MLSSoccer.com & RevsNet.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BrianOConnell21 or e-mail him at BOConnell21@aol.com