New England Soccer Today

#NERevs Predictions: Is it Make or Break for Heaps, Burns?

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Welcome to the third of a five-part series of Revolution-related predictions for the upcoming season. Yesterday, we gave our predictions for the team’s defensive MVP. Today, our writers weigh in on whether 2017 is a make or break season for coach Jay Heaps and general manager Michael Burns.

By the way, we want your take, too! Feel free to leave your vote in the comments section!

Sean Donahue: If Jay Heaps isn’t on the hot seat entering the 2017 season, it’s certainly getting to the wrong side of balmy. After leading the team to MLS Cup in 2014, the club’s performances — and results — have steadily regressed since despite retaining the majority of the club’s core from that season. If the club is on the wrong side of the red line come mid-July, it could mark the end of Heaps’ tenure. As for Mike Burns, the metric may be slightly different. Burns should be judged largely on the performances of Angoua, Delamea and Kouassi this season. If two of the three turn out to be busts, the club will need to consider some serious changes going forward.

Greg Johnstone: This is probably the most important season for Jay Heaps and Mike Burns of their tenure, particularly Heaps, who is in a contract year. While the MLS Cup appearance in 2014 may have bought them job security in prior years, the last two seasons have been disappointing and it would be hard to look back on 2017 as another year of Kamara, Agudelo, and Nguyen wasted if the Revolution miss or get bounced early in the playoffs.

Jose Pereira: Yes, this is a make or break season. The talent is there, whether fans agree or not, it is there. The experience is there from all the international players or players who have played over seas. Antonio Mlinar Delamea and Benjamin Angoua, along with Xavier Kouassi, should help with the defensive which was an issue last year. The big issue with the team right now is the lack of defensive depth and roster depth. Fans should have high expectations this year, as in previous years.

Brian O’Connell: Yes. Two years ago, the Revolution were defending conference champions. Now, they’re coming off a season in which they missed the playoffs, looking flat and uninspired too often while doing so. Plus, with only 23 players on the roster, you have to wonder: what kind of sense does it makes to carry seven open spots? Forget the excuses. If the Revolution fall short of the postseason again, then it’ll be time to go for Heaps and Burns.


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