New England Soccer Today

Turning the Corner?

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The growing pains that have come with the Revolution’s new center back pairing have been evident, and no one will refute that. But in Saturday’s 2-1 win over San Jose, the Andrew Farrell-Jose Goncalves partnership showed noticeable improvement.

In their third game together, the duo appeared on the same page regularly. More importantly, they kept San Jose off the board from the run of play.

“It’s going to (take) time, but tonight I think they did a really good job,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said.
“They worked hard all week together, so it’s not going to be just (getting) games, it’s (about) continuing to work on it during the week.”

While Wondolowski, who leads the league with three goals, found chances and put two shots on target from the run of play, neither of those efforts were particularly dangerous. By halftime, he dropped into the midfield for Adam Jahn, who didn’t find much success himself.

They weren’t perfect, of course. Goncalves passing accuracy was a less-than-impressive 62.2 percent, while Farrell’s was not much better at 65.6 percent. And though they didn’t completely eliminate Wondolowski from the equation, Goncalves acknowledged that he and Farrell will get better as the season progresses.

“It takes time to understand each other,” Goncalves said. “We are progressing, and today, we communicated very well on the field, and that makes our work easier.”

One thing that may have also made the job easier was the much-needed confidence boost Goncalves’ partner received last week.

With the Revolution captain suspended due to a red card against New York City two weeks ago, Farrell was partnered with Darrius Barnes. After the squad conceded five in their first two, Farrell helped the Revolution collect the first clean sheet of the season against Montreal.

“I thought Farrell did a great job because last week,” Heaps said. “He partnered with Darrius, and did well, and got the shutout. It’s hard for a young player to always have someone different next to him.”

That cohesion won’t come quickly, or easily, and that is something Heaps and Goncalves both acknowledge. Patience this early in the season will be key. But the Revolution skipper was pleased by what appeared to be a step in the right direction via Saturday’s win.

“I think down the road, it’s going to be automatic,” Goncalves said. “I will know what he’s going to do, and he’s going to know what I’m going to do. I think the backline worked well today, and we can always do better, but I think for the first win, I think we did well today.”

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