New England Soccer Today

Heaps Blames Mental Lapses for Loss

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Revolution coach Jay Heaps was not a happy camper following Sunday’s 2-1 loss to DC United. And with good reason.

After Charlie Davies opened the account in the 10th minute, the Revolution held that lead for an hour until it all came crashing down within a matter of 11 minutes, the only time Chris Rolfe needed to lift DC to its first victory in three tries.

The way Heaps saw it, his club’s inability to hold onto the ball not only allowed United to climb out of their early deficit, but it prevented the Revolution from getting a much-needed result.

“I feel like it was more mental,” Heaps told the media after the match. “It wasn’t like we were under a lot of pressure, obviously, we weren’t good with the ball, and that’s what frustrates me the most – there was no real pressure, and we kept giving it back, giving it back. I don’t know where that comes from, and that’s a mental lapse because we can keep the ball when we want to keep it. But we didn’t.”

The tide started to turn against the Revolution around the hour mark. Between the 60th and 65th minute, DC possession percentage was 77 percent, a stat that essentially put the guests under siege.

After the Revolution briefly regrouped between the 65th and 70th minute, United once again grabbed the bulk of the possession for the following 15 minutes. And it was during that timeframe in which DC capitalized.

With the Revolution backline stretched thin, Espindola played a beautiful ball to Rolfe, who made the far post run and buried it to put the match back one level terms. Making matters worse, the goal came after Heaps introduced fresh legs in the form of substitutes Kevin Alston and Steve Neumann.

“You’re playing in 93 degrees, and we had guys that we spoke to at halftime that were gassed, and so we had to make subs,” Heaps said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t get a lift from what those changes were, and it cost us the game.”

In fact, one of those subs – Neumann – found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time in the 80th minute. With Miguel Aguilar looking to create, Neumann fouled him just inside the area, and a penalty was awarded to DC. Seconds later, Rolfe scored the game-winner, and the lead that the Revolution held for the majority of the game was nothing more than a distant memory.

“I have to go back and look at the film specifically,” Heaps said when asked about his team’s second half performance. “But overall, not too thrilled with how we played in the second half, physically, mentally all of it.”

But the Revolution coach wasn’t just disappointed in the defensive effort. Before their form wilted at the hour mark, Lee Nguyen and Juan Agudelo both found multiple opportunities to widen the lead created by Davies. But neither was able to find the back of the net.

“I really thought there were chances to make this game ours in the first half, in particular, and a couple of chances in the second half,” Heaps aid. “But after those didn’t go in, the response was not (good enough) to finish the game the right way.”

When it was all said and done, Heaps kept it succinct when asked what he thought of his team’s efforts on Sunday.

“It’s very frustrating and (we’re) disappointed,” Heaps said.


Leave a Reply