New England Soccer Today

Heaps: Win Over Reds ‘Not Our Best Game’

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

Revolution coach Jay Heaps didn’t mince words following Sunday’s 3-1 win over Toronto FC at BMO Field.

While the Revolution may have come out the victor, it was the Reds who were the aggressor in a match that saw them claim the advantage in possession (60.1 percent), shots (21-7) and passing accuracy (86-71 percent).

“It was not our best game by any stretch,” Heaps told the media after the match. “But we really worked hard. Guys fought like heck, and I was really proud of the way Scotty (Caldwell) and Jermaine (Jones) played together. I was really proud of the way (Andrew) Farrell and Jose (Goncalves) and our entire back line played.”

Indeed, much of the credit is due to the rearguard for the way in which they were able to bend, but not break in the face of MVP front-runner Sebastian Giovinco. The Italian international fired a game-high 11 shots on Sunday, none of which were able to find their way into the New England net.

But even though one man alone outshout the entire Revolution squad, the guests capitalized on the chances that did happen to fall their way. They beat their hosts to the board in the fourth minute when Damien Perquis attempted to intercept a dangerous pass from Teal Bunbury intended for Charlie Davies. But with Davies on his back, Perquis panicked and put the ball into the back of his own net.

The Revolution added to their lead in the 39th minute on a moment of brilliance that started with Lee Nguyen using his vision to pick out Diego Fagundez, and finished when the 20-year-old midfielder deposited the subsequent shot into Chris Konopka’s net. Considering that the Revolution were outshot 9-2 in the first half, heading into the half with a two-goal lead illustrated how the guests were simply doing more with less.

“It was obvious we didn’t impose our will as much as we would’ve liked,” Heaps said. “The goals came at strange times, and so I thought we adapted well, I thought they did a good job of playing a little different system, so once we figured that out, I thought we were OK, but they were definitely on the front foot.”

After watching Toronto boss the first half, Heaps decided that changes were necessary for the sequel.

“We as a staff talked about just changing where our pressure started and continue to high pressure,” Heaps said. “But we also had to get into better blocks, and play more of a 4-4-2 shape. Once we did that, we were really good.”

Even though the Revolution saw improvement in the second half, Giovinco remained dangerous. Fouls inside Toronto’s final third set up a handful of chances for the Italian to score, but each opportunity went begging. The only opportunity the Reds didn’t waste was a 56th minute sequence in which Robbie Findley buried a Justin Morrow cross to cut the deficit to 2-1.

“I thought as the game went on, we were able to stymie them a little bit after we took the barrage after the first 15 minutes of the half,” Heaps said. “Then, the second half really became ours, and I thought our possession started to get better, and we started get more chances in their half as the game went on.”

Although Findley’s goal allowed the hosts to build momentum as the second half progressed, any thought of an equalizer was essentially banished when Kelyn Rowe capitalized seconds after Michael Bradley clumsily conceded possession inside his own box in the 71st minute.

“It was a team effort tonight,” Heaps said. “It wasn’t our prettiest, but we fought and dug and I was really proud of them.”

2 Comments

  1. greyghostx

    September 14, 2015 at 8:14 am

    Editorial note, I suppose. The sequence described on the own goal isn’t quite correct.

    Jones fed a ball past the back line into Bunbury. Bunbury hit a pass on the ground across the six yard box to an oncoming Davies. With Davies bearing down, Perquis raced to cut off the pass but instead poked it into the back of the net.

  2. Brian O'Connell

    September 14, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Thanks for looking out, greyghostx! We made the fix.

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