New England Soccer Today

Heaps Takes Blame for NYRB Loss

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Over the course of the Revolution’s current rough patch, coach Jay Heaps has cited a myriad of factors for the team’s performance. But following Saturday’s 4-1 thumping administered by the Red Bulls, Heaps could only point the finger at himself.

After watching the Revolution concede another early lead then watch the game pass them by at Red Bull Arena, Heaps said that it was up to him to ensure that such a start – which also undermined his squad the week before against FC Dallas – wouldn’t happen.

“I’ll take the blame,” Heaps told the media after the loss, “because I got to get our guys to get that edge, because that edge is the difference in those last two games we haven’t had. I think in the other games, we’ve had moments of it, and we were definitely aggressors in those games, but not in the last two.”

An argument could be made that the Revolution’s last two games have been their worst 180 minutes of soccer so far this season. In last week’s match against at Toyota Stadium, the Revolution conceded an early Mauro Diaz goal and had two choices: fight back, or take the abuse. Instead of filing a strong response, the locals shrunk from the moment and dropped a 3-0 loss.

Days after that match, Heaps told the media that it was the worst performance he’d seen from his team all season. He said that the team needed to hit the reset button, and refocus its energy on a strong showing at Red Bull Arena.

Well, it was a nice idea, at least. Despite showing some flashes of danger during the first two minutes, the Red Bulls pulled the rug right under the Revolution when Bradley Wright-Phillips got in front of London Woodberry and powered a Lloyd Sam cross into the back of the net in the third minute. Nine minutes later, the score was already 3-0.

“I want to say that the last two games, for sure, we have not had the edge that we need to win games in this league,” Heaps said. “That’s on the staff, that’s on me, that’s on our group, and that’s on us getting more ready.”

So what can Heaps and his staff do better to prepare the Revolution going forward?

If the opening minutes of Saturday’s match are any indication, then expect a heavy dose of the basics in training during the week leading up to Saturday’s game against New York City FC at Gillette Stadium.

During the post-game scrum, Heaps told the media that his team wasn’t clean on the ball, and were slow to react on restarts. Heaps has often said that mastering the basics are essential to success, but on Saturday, it was readily apparent that the Revolution were far from being fundamentally sound.

“I think when you hit a stretch like this – and it’s a sad stretch – we’ve got to be really good on those things,” Heaps said, “and if you don’t get a break, you’ve got to make a break. Right now, we’re not making any luck because we probably don’t deserve any luck because we’re not doing all the little things right.”

It’s unclear what Heaps has in mind to ensure his team improves upon the fundamentals. One thing is certain: it won’t be a relaxing week at Gillette Stadium in the build up to Saturday’s match.

“We as staff we have to get the guys playing better and right now we’re not doing it,” Heaps said. “We prepared for the opening 15 minutes for maybe two months, but we knew the first 15 minutes were going to be key to this game and rather than it being an objective it actually became a major problem.”

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