New England Soccer Today

The Super-subs

Dimitry Imbongo holds off two defenders in Saturday's win over the San Jose Earthquakes. (Photo: Chris Aduama/

Dimitry Imbongo holds off two defenders in Saturday’s win over the San Jose Earthquakes. (Photo: Chris Aduama/

After seeing substitutions score just three times in the first 14 games for New England, Revolution subs have found the back of the net in each of the last three games. Despite going just 1-1-1 in their last three, the goals have been important.

Dimitry Imbongo came on for the last 22 minutes of the Vancouver Whitecaps game and found the back of the net to bring the shorthanded away side within one. Last week, Chad Barrett came on for the final seven minutes and scored the game-tying goal in the 88th minute to earn the Revolution a point. On Saturday night against the Earthquakes, Imbongo found the back of the net in the second straight game he has appeared in, giving New England a 2-0 lead in the 78th minute. Though not the winning goal, San Jose has scored nine of their 20 goals in the final 15 minutes of games, making Imbongo’s goal all that more important.

“The competition there is great,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “I think that we have, with Juan Agudelo being sidelined for a little bit and having guys like Chad and guys like Imbongo fight for a spot, it’s great. Jerry (Bengtson) as well.”

The Revolution improved to 3-1-1 when a substitute comes on and scores a goal, something players in the starting lineup appreciate.

“It’s great. That’s what you want from your subs,” said Lee Nguyen. “You want them to come in and make a big impact. Lately our subs have been doing really well.”

Before earning a start on Saturday night, Barrett had two goals in his previous 34 minutes played as a sub. Now Imbongo sits with two goals in his last 44 minutes as a sub.

“Those guys stepped up to the plate and they do a nice job,” said Heaps. “But we have a good competition going on there and every week, training does matter. I’ve said that from the beginning; that I want to see these guys earn time and I think they’ve done that.”

For Imbongo, the appearances that he’s making has been enough to boost his confidence.

“I’m happy that the coach gave me the chance to prove to everybody that I can score goals,” he said.

With Saer Sene also producing up front, Jay Heaps doesn’t have an easy decision when it comes to the starting XI – and that’s a good thing.

Leave a Reply