New England Soccer Today

Heaps Credits Revs’ Fight for Dramatic Draw

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

It was the kind of development that Jay Heaps said he lost a lot of sleep over last year: watching an early lead evaporate. But given way Sunday’s 3-3 draw to the Dynamo ended, the Revolution coach should rest fairly easy Sunday night.

After staking a third minute lead from Diego Fagundez’s brilliant long-distance effort, the Revolution conceded twice, leveled it, then fell behind again before Daigo Kobayashi equalized in the 93rd minute to get the result.

“That’s not how you draw it up,” Heaps told the media following the match. “Back and forth game. I thought both teams had some really good stuff, but unfortunately, I didn’t think we were at our best.”

Then again, the Revolution weren’t at their worst, either, which is a marked improvement from their last pair of season-opening performances.

Two years ago, at the very same BBVA Compass Stadium where Kobayashi played the hero on Sunday, the Revolution surrendered a trio of goals in the first 22 minutes en route to a 4-0 walloping.

Last year, the locals were lit up by an explosive Sounders side in Seattle and suffered a 3-0 loss. Clearly, recent history in First Kick clashes hadn’t been kind to the Revolution.

Sunday was different. Much, much different. Not only did Fagundez score the first goal in a Revolution season debut since Jerry Bengtson struck paydirt against the Fire in First Kick 2013, but the offense, via Kobayashi and Charlie Davies, collectively capitalized on their chances.

That wasn’t by accident or happenstance, either. Heaps looked at recent additions Gershon Koffie and Je-Vaughn Watson as part of the reason why the attack was able to operate with greater efficiency in this year’s First Kick.

“We’ve added some real grit to our group with Je-Vaughn Watson and Gershon Koffie,” Heaps said, “and it allows guys like Diego and Scottie (Caldwell) and Lee (Nguyen) to go in and change the game. And that’s kind of what happened on the last play.”

While Koffie was actually taken off in favor of Kobayashi eight minutes before the Japanese international’s equalizer, Heaps credited his squad’s relentless spirit for pulling themselves away from the brink of another season-opening disappointment.

“We were able to fight until the end,” Heaps said. “The last minute of the game, and Diego and Daigo worked a little bit of magic.”

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