New England Soccer Today

Revs Show Fight in Soehn Debut

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Tom Soehn’s debut as the New England Revolution’s head coach looked to likely to end in another all too familiar Revolution collapse after Toronto FC scored an 84th minute equalizer, just two minutes after New England took the lead. This one wouldn’t follow the recent scripts, however, as the Revolution kept their heads up and retook the lead in the 87th minute, going on to beat first place Toronto for the second time this season

“It was a really emotional week for everybody,” said Soehn. “I didn’t think it could be topped, but it was topped tonight. I’m really proud of the guy’s effort. I thought when I look at how they competed tonight and supported each other and played for each other and defended, that’s what games are made of and what teams are made of and tonight, I saw that.”

After giving up ten goals in their past two games leading up to former head coach Jay Heaps’ firing, the Revolution held the league’s best offense—albeit an offense missing Giovinco and Jozy Altidore—scoreless on Saturday night heading into the last ten minutes.

That defensive performance allowed the Revolution to take the lead in the 82nd minute through substitute Lee Nguyen’s deflected shot. Nguyen had entered the match for Teal Bunbury in the 64th minute.

“The game had opened up at that point,” said Soehn. “We knew if we could hold them tight that they were going to open up because they send their backs high. At that point you knew Lee could make an impact and he made a huge impact tonight. I give him a lot of credit for entering a game in difficult circumstances and he stepped right into that lead role and in the end he’s got a goal and an assist and that’s the difference in the result, so a lot of credit to him tonight.”

“[Soehn] just said ‘the game is opening up,” said Nguyen. “’This is a game where you’re going to enjoy yourself, so have fun.’”

Soehn urged the Revolution to focus on the all important next five minutes after taking the lead, but like has happened so frequently this season, a defensive lapse gave up the equalizer just two minutes later.

“That was tough,” said forward Kei Kamara. “You know as players that you score one, you’ve got to be ready for the next five minutes and we fell asleep right there for just a little bit and we paid for it.”

But this time, despite all the emotion of the past couple weeks, the Revolution kept fighting and Nguyen found Kei Kamara off a short corner for the game winner in the 87th minute.

“Well we drew that up because we needed more emotion this week so we figured we tie it up and comeback late,” Soehn joked. “Credit to the guys because obviously it hurts when you give one up that quick, but they responded, so that’s all you can ever ask.”

In a month where mental lapses had seen the team put their heads down and suffer large defeats on multiple occasions, the fight back on Saturday was a positive sight as the Revolution attempt to cling to their slim playoff hopes.

“It just shows how resilient the guys are,” said Nguyen. “We could’ve folded. That’s a tough way to go out – two away losses like that, didn’t really give ourselves much of a chance, so our heads could’ve gone down after that, but credit to the boys, we fought hard.”

“It would’ve been easy for us to kind of deflate with everything that’s happened,” said captain Chris Tierney. “Credit to the boys. I think our energy was great tonight, so good response, good win.”

At the end of the night, the inevitable question always looms for any coach with the interim tag, particular after the win: are they hoping to remain as head coach beyond the season?

“Of course [I’m interested], said Soehn. “But, right now we’re living one game at a time. I’ve told guys that for five games we’re going to enjoy ourselves and we’re going to be the best team we can be. I’m going to focus on that team thing over and over again and today when we came together as a team, you saw how dangerous that can be.”

Any hopes Soehn has of retaining the role will come from the team’s performances with now four games remaining and the club needing to win all four—along with getting help from other results—to realistically have a shot at making the postseason.

“There’s still a lot of emotion,” said Soehn. “There’s something missing when we go in the locker room to celebrate a win and Jay [Heaps] is not there, but pulling them together on the field and kind of living off that moment, which, it’s a great moment. You can look at a million jobs in the world and you don’t get too many highs like that when you pull out a result like that, especially at a time where we needed it. We took that moment to reflect on it, to make sure we remember how good it felt, so we can replicate it that. That’s our mentality going for the next one. We came in, we’ll celebrate it, but it’s back to work on Monday.”

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