New England Soccer Today

Agudelo: Attack Rests upon Speed Up Top

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Days after Charlie Davies went down with a hamstring injury in Saturday’s scoreless draw against DC, the biggest question in Foxborough at the moment is the most obvious one: who’ll start up top at Philadelphia?

Should Davies miss Sunday’s match, it looks like Teal Bunbury and Juan Agudelo are the next available options, with the former appearing to have a slight edge over the latter.

“He’s faster than me, and that’s the way that we play,” Agudelo told the media on Tuesday. “We like the speedy striker, and I like getting the ball to my feet so it kind of works both ways.”

Bunbury saw the bulk of the minutes up front in Saturday’s scoreless draw after Davies’ night ended in the 34th minute while Agudelo, who was actually subbed in for Davies, took over on the right side of the midfield.

But that assignment didn’t stop Agudelo from getting a few sniffs at striker before the end of the match. In fact, the physical forward/midfielder’s hold up play allowed the attack find a few opportunities late.

“Those guys are very interchangeable,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps told the media on Tuesday. “So it almost sorts itself out on the pitch in terms of when we have the ball.”

Heaps, who uses the 4-2-3-1 because of its flexibility, said that the one-two punch of Bunbury and Agudelo – or vice versa, depending on the situation – allows his squad to make real-time tweaks when they sense a weakness in the opposing defense.

“I think it changes not only our looks, but it changes our formation slightly, and the symmetry of our group,” Heaps said. “Offensively, I feel like our formation takes on a different symmetry. It allows us to attack in different ways and different angles.”

While Heaps said that the attacking duo shoulder different responsibilities on defense, it’s clear both will have to remain committed their respective duties against an opportunistic side like the Union on Sunday.

The Union are coming off a 2-1 shock victory on the road over reigning Eastern Conference king Columbus, a game in which newcomer Chris Pontius scored on each side of halftime to lead his team to their first three points of the season.

As good as Philadelphia looked last week, Agudelo believes that his squad, which couldn’t find similar scoring fortunes last week, will stick to what did work against DC.

“I think we’ll do exactly that,” Agudelo said. ” We’ll play the same way, we try to keep them on their back foot, and tactically be aware. The coaches do a great job with (scouting) our opponents so we understand that going into Philly.”

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