FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Revolution head coach Jay Heaps has said from the beginning of the 2013 season that he wants competition at every position.
And with that, goalkeeper Matt Reis made his return to the starting lineup in MLS play for the first time since March 23rd after Bobby Shuttleworth has emerged as the new number one for the Revs and started the last 20 games.
“It’s a little bit feel, it’s a little bit going over a lot of film and just seeing where we might need an uptick in certain areas,” Heaps said. “I thought Matt (Reis) has been training really well and pushing Bobby (Shuttleworth) and Bobby’s played great all year. It’s a great little competition, but sometimes when guys are pushing in training – to reward and give an opportunity, I thought Matt earned it.”
Reis turned in three saves in the Revolution’s 2-0 win over the Fire Saturday night. It was Reis’ third shutout of the season in just three games played.
“I thought as a team, we did a great job,” said Reis. “We weathered the storm a little bit. We knew they were going to come out and really pressure us, which we did and then we were able to control the game from then on out.”
Reis has collected a total of 11 saves in this three shutout wins this season – four in the season opening 1-0 win over Chicago, four in the home opening 0-0 draw with Sporting KC, and three last night. The 38-year-old goalie said the 20-game league break wasn’t an issue.
“I think that’s one of the things that I have always been good at throughout my career, whether it’s been in college all the way up until now,” said Reis. “Even if I don’t get in a lot of games, there’s not that much of a drop-off when I do get in. It was nice to get back out there. It was great.”
But for Reis – the team’s longest tenured player – the thought of not getting another start had certainly crossed his mind.
“I wasn’t sure if it was ever going to happen again, but I was happy to help the team,” he said. “It was a big game for us. We really needed the points, and we came out and did everything we needed to do.”
As for nerves after the long lay off, Reis said they are always there but excitement gets the best of those nerves.
“I think I have been doing this for long enough that the nerves are there, but it’s the excitement,” Reis said. “You never know when it’s going to be your last game, you never know. You always got to enjoy getting out there. It was a lot of fun.”