New England Soccer Today

Heaps Happy with the Talent

The Revolution may still be a work in progress, but Jay Heaps (with ball) is happy with the talent on his roster. (Photo: Chris Aduama/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – After Wednesday’s practice, Jay Heaps took a moment to reflect on where he feels his team is six games into the season.

Sure, there are still improvements to be made. After all, the team’s 2-4-0 record would seem to indicate that they’re far from from becoming a finished product.

But even though the team may not have made any blockbuster deals during the offseason, Heaps is nevertheless happy with the amount of talent already on the roster.

“We’ve made a lot of strides forward in the quality of players we have,” Heaps said. “Talent-wise, this is as good a team as any team that I’ve ever been on.”

That’s high praise from the same Jay Heaps who went to four MLS Cup finals in six years with a Revolution team that featured the likes of Taylor Twellman, Clint Dempsey, Steve Ralston and Shalrie Joseph, among others. So such a remark isn’t without perspective.

And while he may see similarities between the clubs from the mid-2000s and the current one, Heaps wasn’t shy to invoke the name of one of his former teammates to distinguish a key difference.

“Just man for man, (one) of the differences is (having) that little extra edge,” Heaps said. “That little bit of Dempsey, that little bit of edge, a little bite to us. So that’s what we’ve got to get.”

So far, the Revs have shown flashes of the flair displayed during the team’s Eastern Conference dynasty. Players like Lee Nguyen, Saër Sène and Kelyn Rowe – all new additions – have given the Revs’ attack a welcome air of unpredictability. And it’s obvious Heaps wants to see more of it as the season progresses.

But that doesn’t mean his roster is set in stone for the duration of the 2012 campaign. By no means.

In fact, Heaps admitted that he kept an eye on the transfer wire before the window closed on Monday.

“We’re always looking,” Heaps said. “It would be a disservice to our team and to the organization if we weren’t (always) looking.”

Although the Revolution ultimately did not make a move in the transfer market prior to Monday, Heaps admitted that he may take a closer look during the summer transfer window. And he indicated that he won’t be looking for a player that would simply bolster his team’s depth.

“To be very fair,” Heaps said. “We’re looking for game-changer type players.”

In the meantime, Heaps is in no hurry to bring in a high-profile player just for the sake of it. Given the steps forward his team has made after a disastrous 2011 campaign, the first-year head coach seems content with his roster for now.

“I like where this team is,” Heaps said. “I like where we’re at and we just need to get tougher and just turn the screws on a couple of areas. But in terms of talent, it’s there.”

But, at the same time, he left open the possibility of orchestrating some major mid-season acquisitions to put the team in a position to make a push for the playoffs down the stretch.

“We’re very comfortable where we are,” Heaps said. “Now, it’s a matter of one or two players that we need to add on at the end of the summer that I think will be difference-makers, if we go that route.”

Leave a Reply