New England Soccer Today

Caldwell Key to Revs Success

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Jay Heaps has showered plenty of his players with praise during the Revolution’s postseason run, but his assessment of Scott Caldwell on Wednesday wasn’t your typical sound bite.

While Jermaine Jones and Lee Nguyen have gotten plenty of press in recent months, Caldwell has quietly done the dirty work, often with very little fanfare and attention paid to him in the process.

“He’s a coach’s dream, really,” Heaps said, “because he is one of the most selfless players I’ve ever been around, as both a coach and a player.”

“Selfless” is the operative word when it comes to the sophomore midfielder’s work ethic. Once an attacking engine in an NCAA Championship-winning Akron side, the 23-year-old has changed his game and become a reliable, if not integral, defensive cog in the midfield as a pro.

That’s especially true this year, with Jones and Nguyen taking the reins offensively. Although neither have completely shirked their defensive responsibilities, it’s Caldwell who’s provided the cover time after time whenever the opposition wins the ball back.

“He’s kind of the anchor in the midfield for us,” Nguyen said. “I think he loves it, as well, because it lets Jermaine roam a little bit more so he can go find the ball, and it also frees me up to attack a bit more, as well.”

That willingness to allow others to shine is, perhaps, the biggest reason why Heaps is one of Caldwell’s biggest fans. After all, somebody has to stay back when the attack pushes forward, and more often than not, it’s none other than the Homegrown Player himself.

“He’s willing to follow the game plan to a T, and it’s completely selfless,” Heaps said. “He wants to do it for the group and I think having a guy like him is – it really kind of – it also embodies what I’ve always thought of as a little bit of New England.”

But just because he’s done everything asked of him by Heaps, doesn’t mean the baby-faced Caldwell is a choir boy by any means.

“Scotty looks like a nice guy, but he’s really tough to play against,” Jones said. “I think he (undertakes) a lot of work for both of us, and we have the freedom to go in front. We both love to play with him and he’s a small pit bull.”

He may be listed at 5-8, 150lbs., but the sense around the Revolution locker room is that Caldwell plays much bigger than his actual stature. Part of it is his ability to read the game, which allows him to expertly plug the channels and passing lanes. Another part is, well, pure grit, and a willingness to stand his ground in the face of players both faster and stronger than him.

That toughness has not only allowed him to remain a key member of a midfield that’s been overhauled since First Kick, but become a crucial, albeit unheralded, contributor to the club’s postseason success.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a practice or a game,” Heaps said. “He’s going to give everything he has down to the last ounce of energy because he has to play that way, that’s how he gets by is by giving everything he has.”

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