New England Soccer Today

Nguyen: Parking Bus ‘Not in Our DNA’

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – While the stakes are certainly higher than they were during the Conference Semifinal, don’t expect the Revolution to alter their approach to Saturday’s deciding leg of the Conference Final at Gillette Stadium.

Three weeks after dispatching the Columbus Crew with a 3-1 series clinching win in the second leg of the Conference Semifinals, the Revolution won’t be reaching for the keys to a nearby bus with a one-goal advantage and 90 minutes separating them from a trip to the MLS Cup final.

“It’s not in our DNA,” Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen said. “We don’t want to sit back and invite pressure because it’s a 90 minute game, and that’s a lot of time to be trying to take that many attacks on you, and it wears on you.”

Even without Bradley Wright-Phillips at the Red Bulls’ disposal, Nguyen is expecting their foe to show their teeth early and often, especially needing two goals to stave off elimination.

While New York may play with an air of desperation on Saturday, one of Nguyen’s teammates knows full well that they won’t just attack haphazardly. Not with technically-gifted and goal-hungry players like Tim Cahill, Lloyd Sam and Peguy Luyindula all posing problems, and most certainly not with Thierry Henry capable of making his mark on any match that he’s a part of.

“Anything goes when he’s on the field,” Revolution striker Charlie Davies said. “He can come up with a moment of brilliance, and that’s all they really need is a couple of those and they’re through (to the Final).”

But Nguyen believes that any moments of brilliance from the other side won’t come early – or easily – especially for Henry, who’s never stepped foot on the artificial pitch at Gillette Stadium.

“It takes a little bit of time to get used to the turf while they’re out there,” Nguyen said. “So we’ll try to put as much pressure as we can early on. I think it works to our advantage to play more technical football especially now that they have to come in and score two goals. I think it’s going to leave gaps for us attacking players to find the counter attack.”

That’s the hope, at least, for the hosts. But Davies knows that if the Revolution are going to advance to their first MLS Cup final in seven years, they’ll need to wipe plenty of sweat off their brows before the job’s officially done.

“We know there’s a lot of work to be done, and this series isn’t over by any means,” Davies said. “We know it’s going to take a huge collective effort from the group, and we’ll be ready.”

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