New England Soccer Today

Late Sub Spurs Revs in KC

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Jermaine Jones may have gotten the glory and done the nationally-televised postgame interview for scoring the decider in Friday’s 3-2 win over Sporting Kansas City, but according to Jay Heaps, the Revolution’s success rested heavily on a critical second half substitution.

With their adversaries flying thanks to a pair of quick goals before the hour, the Heaps tabbed Scott Caldwell to replaced Daigo Kobayashi. The idea: stem the surging Sporting Kansas City attack from getting the go-ahead.

“Scott Caldwell went in, and (he) was a little bit more defensive and kind of shored it up,” the Revolution coach told the media after the match. “I thought our guys settled a little bit after the goals. Kansas City wasn’t getting through as much.”

Statistically, the move seemed to do the trick. Before Caldwell’s introduction, Sporting’s possession percentage hovered near 77 percent. Thereafter, it gradually dipped, save for a five minute spurt between the 70-75th minutes where it climbed to 76 percent.

With Caldwell dropping back and faithfully sitting in front of center backs Jose Goncalves and Andrew Farrell, the Revolution were able to start winning some balls back. And as a result, the offense started to awaken.

In the 80th minute, Lee Nguyen played a well-weighted through ball into the area for Kelyn Rowe, who was just about to race onto it before he was chopped down by Eric Kronberg. Rowe made an appeal for a penalty, only to see that the flag was raised, despite the fact that replays showed he was onside at the time Nguyen released him.

Fortunately for Heaps and Co., nothing could negate their next opportunity five minutes later. With Nguyen leading the charge again, he sent it wide for Jermaine Jones, who was visibly tired in the waning stages. Although energy levels may have been low for the U.S. International, he nevertheless decided to give it a go from distance – and promptly buried it.

“I saw that the corner was free, so I tried it,” Jones told the media after the match. “It’s a big three points and I’m happy for the team, the team works really hard.”

Indeed, spirit and determination were never in doubt for the Revolution. Not by a longshot. Though the overall possession and passing statistics point to a dominating performance by Sporting, the Revolution hung tough, took what was given to them, and held on until the very end.

“Credit guys like Lee and Jermaine and Scotty definitely,” Heaps said. “And the backline, I thought Farrell was spectacular at center back.”

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