New England Soccer Today

Heaps: Early Goal Key to Win

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

If the Revolution were going to snap out of their four-game funk, they’d need to tweak a few things. So Jay Heaps took it upon himself to ensure that change was in the air during Sunday’s season finale at New York City.

Looking for a way to spark an offense that was previously stuck in the doldrums, Heaps made two changes to his lineup by tabbing Charlie Davies and Teal Bunbury for starting spots, and watched his team rake in a 3-1 win over City.

“I thought that we were locked in and focused,” Heaps told the media after the match. “The key tonight was making sure that we scored first and put them in a position where we can be tight shape-wise, and look to get opportunities.”

The first of those opportunities arrived only two minutes into the match. Seeking the connection that helped spur the Revolution down the stretch last season, Davies and Lee Nguyen played a game of give and go before the creative winger buried it inside the area for the opening goal.

“I felt like tonight, we got that chemistry back, so it’s exciting,” Davies said about his team’s attacking form. “I feel like the team’s got the excitement back, and we’ve got a little bounce in our step.”

In the past, Heaps has said that his team wasn’t built to win 1-0 games. So naturally, the Revolution didn’t have any visions of parking the bus and protecting that early advantage on the road.

Instead, they kept pressing. While that may have left them exposed defensively on a few occasions, they were rewarded for their efforts when Davies tracked down a long ball from Jose Goncalves and after beating a pair of City defenders, put it out of the reach of Josh Saunders in the 38th minute.

“Obviously, I wanted to come back in and do whatever I could to help the team, and continue to improve,” Davies said. “Tonight was a huge step forward not only for myself, but for the team, so I’m more thrilled that we’re back as a team.”

Although Davies’ strike gave the guests a two-goal cushion going into the break, the Revolution attack remained just ask hungry in the second half.

In the 55th minute, the locals struck again when Chris Tierney sent a corner kick near post for Kelyn Rowe, who elevated and buried his header to widen the margin to three.

While a late David Villa penalty prevented the his side from collecting the clean sheet, Heaps was pleased with his club’s performance, and with good reason.

Not only did the Revolution showcase the skill and swagger needed to win on the road, but they did so in spectacular fashion.

“We changed up some things this week,” Heaps said. “I was excited to see Charlie get his time and he made a really big impact for us.”

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