New England Soccer Today

Heaps Impressed w/ Hollinger-Janzen

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Jay Heaps admitted that he didn’t know third-round pick Femi Hollinger-Janzen was going to be a factor in the first team’s plans this early in the season. Then again, few people ever do when it comes to late-round college goalscorers.

After the 51st overall pick in the 2016 SuperDraft made his fourth straight appearance off the bench during Saturday’s 1-1 draw to Toronto, the Revolution coach spoke about the impact Hollinger-Janzen has made.

“We always hope with your draft picks that you’re going to see them get caught up to speed,” Heaps said. “Some players that root quickly to the physicality, the speed of the game and maybe they need to be playing with better players.”

The Indiana alum has shown that he’s already adapted the speed of play at the professional level. While fellow draft classmates Jordan McCrary and Michael Gamble have yet to see the field this year, the unheralded striker has already appeared in four games for the Revolution, registering a total of 28 minutes.

But it’s the situations he’s seen that, perhaps, speaks volumes about how the coaching staff views the 22-year-old striker.

After making his MLS debut in the latter stages of a 3-0 drubbing in Philadelphia, Hollinger-Janzen has entered games in which the Revolution were either level or holding a narrow lead late. In other words, the late-game cameos aren’t intended to simply give the rookie striker experience.

“We knew about him and we watched him play when he was in Indiana,” Heaps said. “But he made the transition right away. I think within the first few days of training, he was already up to speed with what we were doing.”

The latest sign that Hollinger-Janzen is capable of running with the pros came in the second minute of stoppage time during Saturday’s draw. Kelyn Rowe played a looping cross to the far post, where the rookie forward shed his mark and delicately centered it for Lee Nguyen, who put it in the back of the net. But the assistant referee judged that Rowe’s cross curled over the end line, thus negating the would-be winner.

“His physicality shows,” Heaps said. “He came in and impacted the game, and he was only in for six or seven minutes and there were still one or two plays that he made that was the difference – could have been the difference.”

One Comment

  1. Peter

    April 10, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Mr HEAPS give the kid janzen more minutes ? Teal play can b very frustrating at least the kid makes play happen

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