New England Soccer Today

Technically Speaking: #NEvVAN

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Welcome back to another edition of “Technically Speaking,” where our resident coach and former pro Rick Sewall dissects the Revolution’s latest performance.

With NESoccerToday editor Brian O’Connell covering the NPSL Final in New Haven Saturday, Rick gets straight to the point on what stood out from Saturday’s win over the Whitecaps.

Have a question for Rick? Feel free to fire away in the comments section!


First, it was obvious that this was a very important game for these teams, considering they both are on the cusp of playoff contention. This made the game well worth watching, with the low 1-0 score not surprising because it had similarities to a typical knock-out cup game. Teal Bunbury’s 53rd minute goal dictated that the Vancouver would have to go for the equalizer, and it took a solid defensive effort – perhaps on the Revolution’s best of the year – to hold onto the win over a very capable Whitecap team.

Second, although Bunbury deserves a shout for man of the match thanks to his sensational goal, the swapping of Bunbury for Juan Agudelo – even as early as the 65th minute – was a smart move by Jay Heaps. Agudelo is an excellent ball-possession dribbler and passer, and showed this skill by some clever moves in the 77th, 83rd, and 92nd minutes. His performance definitely had something to do with preserving the win.

Third, shooting outside the area remains a big problem for the boys in navy blue. They had four tries at it: Diego Fagundez in the 18th minute from 25 yards (high and very wide), Bunbury in the 21st minute (a well- taken left footer on target—the only demonstration of a good instep drive in the game), Gershon Koffie in the 34th minute (on target, but he should have shot the ball with more authority and power), and Lee Nguyen in the 84th minute from 19 yards (a sitter well over the bar – with his poor technique dictating the off-frame course of the ball). Shooting technique (good or bad) can be the deciding factor on whether or not a team makes the playoffs (see: last year’s goal differential, the stat that locked the locals out of the postseason). Although the Revolution still found a way to win, Saturday’s sequence of events could very well haunt them down the road just as it did last October.

Last, but not least, it was also nice to see Kelyn Rowe get a well-deserved result for his excellent crossing touch on Bunbury’s winner. Rowe’s excellent crossing nearly put the Revolution in position to score a second goal in Chicago a week ago.

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