New England Soccer Today

More Movement Needed

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Following Wednesday’s draw to Portland, Revolution coach Jay Heaps said he felt that part of his squad’s problems in the final third was that players were pressing too much to get a goal.

After watching game film from the 1-1 stalemate, he offered more insight as to why his team’s attack stalled against the Timbers.

“I felt like last night a little bit we got stuck ball watching a little bit,” Heaps told the media on Thursday. “One guy was moving at a high speed, but the movement off the ball wasn’t good enough. So that’s where we have to get better. It’s not usually the guy on the ball, it’s the options he has and the movement off the ball.”

Despite holding the better of the possession for the majority of the match, the Revolution attack seemed to play right into the Timbers’ gameplan. With the guests packing the back, New England’s attackers seemed to dribble their way right into a crowd of defenders.

In Heaps’ view, it wasn’t until Jack Barnby put Portland ahead in the 64th minute that the Revolution finally started to stretch the Timbers.

“I thought once they scored, we really turned up our intensity and urgency,” Heaps said. “But it was a little bit out of what our normal rhythm is.”

Although it wasn’t the Revolution didn’t have their best stuff in the final half hour, Heaps sensed that they’d be rewarded.

“I felt like I really believed that we were going to get the next goal,” Heaps said. “I just wanted it to be soon enough so that we could have a chance to get the second goal. I thought once we got one, there’s going to be a good chance to get another. I thought we were inside their 18 in the final three or four minutes of stoppage time, but unfortunately, we were just a pass away.”

That goal may have come with the help of a fortuitous Jermaine Taylor mistake in the 89th minute, but the attacking pressure put on by rookie forward Femi Hollinger-Janzen was proof positive of the Revolution’s resilience right until the very end.

In the meantime, Heaps is hoping to see a more methodical approach from his attacking players on Saturday when Orlando City comes to town.

“I think we just have to be a little bit more urgent, with some patience,” Heaps said. “I think we moved the ball quickly, but I felt like we were rushing a little bit at times, so we have to make sure that we go about the game plan, stick to the game plan. When things don’t work out right away, [it’s important] that we continue to stay grounded in our game plan.”

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