New England Soccer Today

The New Big 3?

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – It’s no mystery that Jay Heaps has never been shy to play the matchup game. But on Saturday, he finally gave the supporters what they’ve clamored for since the start of the season.

With Charlie Davies, Teal Bunbury and Juan Agudelo all in form, Heaps penciled in all three into the lineup for the first time in 2015, and watched the rest take care of itself in Saturday’s 4-0 win.

“It’s going to be who can push who to play,” Heaps said. “Not only that, but what does the matchup look like? Tonight, the idea was we thought we needed the pace out wide with Teal, and we wanted the strength of Juan on the left side.”

Bunbury, who scored and assisted off the bench in last week’s 2-1 win at Philadelphia, was back in the lineup for the first time in two weeks. And he proved why belonged there right before halftime.

The converted winger sprung Davies down the right, setting up a tantalizing chance to make it a two-goal margin before the break. Davies’ shot was initially denied by Jeff Attinella, but the rebound rolled to the far post, where Agudelo raced onto it and tucked it away.

“We clicked right away,” Davies said. “We found each other, we knew exactly where to exploit them and which space was open for me to find and everyone else filled the open spaces that I left.”

In the second half, Davies followed Agudelo’s lead when he steered a Scott Caldwell shot through to score in his second straight game. Just as importantly, the trio opened up space for others to create and score, just as Chris Tierney did in the 39th minute on an assist from Agudelo.

“The sky is the limit with this team,” Davies said. “We’re so talented, we’re so deep, and it’s such a joy to play. I think as you saw tonight everyone had smiles on their faces. We’re all enjoying playing with each other and we’re enjoying playing well.”

That enjoyment was impossible to ignore, especially after slaying the beast known as Salt Lake, which had beaten the Revolution on seven-straight occasions going back to 2010.

While those playing behind the Revolution’s big 3 were also able to grab the spotlight, it’s worth noting that Agudelo, Bunbury and Davies accounted for six of the squad’s 13 shots on target, with two of them finding the back of the net.

“I think it’s great when the first time we play together and we have so much chemistry on the first game,” Davies said. “It’s crazy to think of how we’ll be come the end of the season with us playing together.”

Saturday’s emphatic display of offense certainly made believers in many of the Agudelo-Davies-Bunbury partnership, but Heaps was quick to remind the masses that there is no first-choice front-three.

“Next week is going to be different,” Heaps said. “We are going to go into the week with who we think is playing the best, but also what the best matchup for us is.”

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