Catching Up with the New England Revolution
One of these players was subbed out at halftime on Saturday...
If you’re a frequent visitor to the Tanner Ba’ you will know that there’s really only one thing on my mind at the moment- Ross County F.C. and their impending promotion. However, the 2012 MLS season is now in full swing and I feel I should probably say a word or two about the New England Revolution and their first four matches- and particularly the last three. However, because my attention is otherwise occupied at the moment you’re going to have to settle for whatever bullet points I can shake out of my head. Here we go…
- This is a far better team than the 2011 Revolution. A 2 and 2 start might now seem like a big deal, but this is a club that only won 5 matches all of last year! Part of that is due to the coaching change (don’t get me wrong, I loved Stevie Nicol), but part of it also has to do with the team showing some malcontents and underachievers the door. There are still a few more I’d be handing cab fare to if it were my decision, but progress is enough for the moment.
- It’s impossible to know what the future holds for Jay Heaps as a coach, but one thing is already clear- he is a motivator. Every player is clearly giving 100% during every minute of the match. Players are attacking with the ball, running to space without it, and defending with determination and the bulk of the credit has to go to Heaps.
- That being said, some credit also has to be given to Mike Burns and his staff- they sent fully half of last year’s roster packing and, while there have admittedly been a few hiccups, the players they brought in as replacements are working out well.
- As much as I yawned at the addition of Clyde Simms during the offseason he may turn out to be one of the best acquisitions the club made. Saturday night against the Galaxy (and in the pouring rain) he completed 44 of 46 attempted passes. That just doesn’t happen. He also played excellent defense. If he spends the rest of the season quietly winning the ball and successfully passing it forward he’ll be worth every penny of his salary.
- Kelyn Rowe will be a finalist for the Rookie of the Year Award- even if you’d never guess he was a rookie when you watch him play. He knows he can play in MLS (and maybe beyond) and it shows.
- Now that they have starting spots it’s going to take an injury or a suspension to get Ryan Guy and Lee Nguyen out of the line-up.
- Nobody is going to accuse Saër Sène of playing “total football,” but the guy puts himself about with vigor and gets on the ends of crosses- in MLS that’s enough to get you 10 or 12 goals over the course of a season. If he does that nobody is going to mind the suspect haircut.
- Chris Tierney is a better player than I’ve given him credit for over the past few seasons- a much better player.
- Speaking of players, I’m glad to see that the club is still bringing in talent even though the preseason is long over. Jeremiah White and Florian Lechner will add some cover/depth, but I think Swedish forward Bjorn Runstrom can make a big contribution to the club.
I think that’s it for now.
I wish I was still on vacation.