New England Soccer Today

Heaps: Limiting Maidana Key to Win

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

The Union didn’t enter Saturday’s match with the most potent attack in the league, but the Revolution were well aware of the danger that their foes posed on turnovers.

After watching film of Philadelphia create their best opportunities immediately after getting possession, Revolution coach Jay Heaps impressed upon his squad the need to stifle the Union in that regard, which the locals did in Saturday’s 1-0 win at PPL Park.

“They weren’t allowed to break on us, and that was really key to our gameplan: not letting them break on us,” Heaps told the media after the match. “I thought we did an excellent job on limiting that.”

One way in which the Revolution were able to keep the Union from turning the tables was by containing Cristian Maidana, a player who’s often given free reign to inject himself into the attack when he sees fit. To counter the danger Maidana brought, Heaps implored central midfielders Scott Caldwell and Jermaine Jones to keep a close watch on the Union’s no. 10.

“He’s a playmaker for them,” Heaps said. “I thought Scotty and Jermaine did an excellent job in the first half, and in the 60 minutes, and then Daigo (Kobayashi) did an excellent job. They communicated with the outside backs because Maidana drifts so the outside backs had to be engaged, as well.”

But if the Revolution were going to get the trio of points they were hungry for on Saturday, they’d need to find the back of the net. With Maidana neutralized, that goal arrived just five minutes after the break when Diego Fagundez dribbled toward the 18 and pushed a low drive into the back of the net.

“I just went for the one-on-one,” Fagundez told the media after the match. “I was surprised by how much space they were giving me, and the space kept opening, and all I said (to myself) was I had to make sure that I didn’t have a bad touch or anything. Just make sure I had a good shot.”

Although 20-year-old’s strike – his 25th of his career, making him the youngest in MLS history to reach that plateau – gave the Revolution the advantage, there was still plenty of work to do in order to preserve the victory.

The Union inserted Fernando Aristeguieta and Andrew Wenger late, and the former spurred the Union attack to a couple of lively chances. But the Revolution’s shape held firm to see the game out and grab their third straight win at PPL Park.

“We were really happy with the way we went about the game,” Heaps said. “Early on, I thought we stepped it up, then the game got into a little bit of some second balls. But I thought that in the second half, we were really good at limiting chances.”

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