New England Soccer Today

Agudelo Gets the Call Up Top

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – It turns out that the matchup isn’t the only thing that Revolution coach Jay Heaps takes into consideration when it comes to constructing the lineup.

While Heaps was leaning toward giving Juan Agudelo the start up top over Charlie Davies for Friday’s matchup against the Red Bulls anyway, that decision was essentially sealed when gusty conditions converged upon the region on Friday.

“We knew it was going to be a physical game,” Heaps said. “Looking at the wind, it’s 22 mile-per-hour winds and so you’re factoring in a lot of things. The one thing Juan does is he battles and he fights and he’s not always going to spin the guy to get behind, but he’s going to hold the ball.”

Sensing that the early going wasn’t going to produce the most attractive soccer, Heaps saw the move nearly pay immediate dividends.

Inside of three minutes, Agudelo received a pass from Diego Fagundez deep in the midfield, dribbled just past the center line, and chipped a 40-yard shot that forced Luis Robles to quickly scurry back and tip over the bar.

“I just picked my head up and I saw the keeper and he was a little bit off his line,” Agudelo said. “Unfortunately, the wind was blowing in the opposite direction. So maybe, maybe not – it would have gone in but I wish we’d picked the other side of the field in the first half.”

Despite the early bid, Agudelo didn’t stay up top for the entire match. In an attempt to catch the Red Bulls off balance, physical forward traded spots with winger Teal Bunbury midway through the first half in order to get the attack going.

“That really provided a lot of space there for us,” Heaps said. “It was the right thing to do and it opened up the second half for us. I think that was what we wanted to have: a little bit of ability to move and be flexible, and those two guys allow us to do that.”

While Heaps said he wasn’t thrilled with how the first half unfolded, on the whole, the interchange between Agudelo and Davies opened the door for paydirt early in the second half.

In the 55th minute, Agudelo drifted right to receive a ball from Scott Caldwell, then advanced it toward the New York box before playing it across goal for Diego Fagundez, who buried it at the far post.

“We changed to try to mix up,” Agudelo said, “and try to shake up their defense a little bit.”

Once the game settled down to Heaps’ liking, he called upon Davies in the 78th minute. While the reigning Revolution goal king wasn’t able to open his account late, Heaps believes that with the right matchup – and perhaps calmer winds – Davies will be able to find the back of the net before long.

“Charlie is one that we need to play and be more in possession of the ball,” Heaps said. “He’s going to get on the end of things, and tonight it didn’t feel like the game was going to go that way until it settled down. That’s why we went to Charlie late in the second half.”

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