New England Soccer Today

Revs Notebook

Revolution striker Saer Sene was back on the practice field on Wednesday. (Photo: Kari Heistad/

Revolution striker Saer Sene was back on the practice field on Wedensday. (Photo: Kari Heistad/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – There’s no use trying to hide it: the Revolution attack hasn’t been all that great three games into the season.

While the defense currently boasts a pair of clean sheets, there’s been little for the attack to brag about so far.

With only one goal to speak of in 270 minutes of action, and zero shots on target during last weekend’s scoreless draw vs. Sporting K.C., Revolution head coach Jay Heaps knows what must be done.

“We have to find a way to put a team under pressure,” Heaps said after Wednesday’s training. “I want to see us get more from midfield turnovers. I think when we possess it a little bit more, and we get the right passes in the right channels, we’ll be a little bit better.”

But finding channels and winning balls is only a part of the story. Last year’s set piece struggles have bled into 2013, and Heaps wants to see his club executing in the final third.

“We have to do a little bit better job of putting balls in the box and penetrating more,” Heaps said. “We have to (challenge) their backline to a little bit more than we did the other night. It’s a commitment to getting in the box.”


There was one conspicuous participant in Wednesday’s 11 v 11 training scrimmage.

Saer Sene, who had previously been limited to off-the-field drills and exercise to rehabilitate his left ACL, gave it a go with his teammates for about 20 minutes. Although he was far from sharp, it was positive development for Sene, who’s scheduled to return to game action before the end of April.

“I think the players are getting excited to have him out here,” said Heaps. “But at the same time, we have to be smart in how we progress with him because he could have a set back today, tomorrow, or the next day.”

Heaps compared the mindset behind Sene’s recovery and rehabilitation to that of Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose, who tore his ACL last April. Recently, Rose hinted that he was physically ready to go, but wasn’t yet mentally prepared.

“We want the player to be comfortable,” Heap said. “We want to make sure that we’re not pushing the player to do the pushing.”

Heaps made another multi-sport reference with respect to what kind of apparel he’d like Sene to don for training scrimmages.

“He’s kind of like a QB – I wish I had him in a red practice jersey (to signal) you can’t hit Saer,” quipped Heaps. “He hasn’t gone on any full challenges yet. We’re still progressing with him.”


While Saturday’s match against FC Dallas may be just another inter-conference clash for most in the Revolution locker room, one player who’s especially looking forward to it is ex-Dallas midfielder Juan Toja.

Toja spent two seasons (2007-08) with the Hoops before he took his talents to Steaua Bucuresti in Romania. Although his attention is focused on Saturday’s gameplan, Toja recalled his days in Dallas after Wednesday’s training.

“We came close to the final (in 2007),” Toja said after Wednesday’s training. “We did an incredible job, and we had great teammates, which (created) a great atmosphere.”

And while many of his former Dallas teammates have since left, Toja is looking forward to seeing Kenny Cooper and Michel, whom Toja played with at Aris from 2010-12.

Seeing them may seem like a blast from the past for the Colombian midfielder. Nevertheless, Toja admitted that nothing will distract him from helping the Revolution get three points.

“My future and my present is with the Revolution,” Toja said. “So I will do my best on Saturday.”

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