April 24, 2017 by hochmancarter
Jay Heaps (left) has been the head coach of the New England Revolution since 2011. (Courtesy of Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports)
Written by Carter Hochman
The New England Revolution these days don’t seem like the Revs we’re used to. Putting up average numbers, Jay Heaps’ squad just doesn’t seem like the dominating team they have the capability of being.
They have frequent U.S. National Team call-up Juan Agudelo, goal-hungry Kai Kamara, veteran/former U.S. National Team player Teal Bunbury and yet, the Revs have scored 10 goals whilst allowing 11. This could in part be blamed on the lack of chemistry and vastly different language barrier of the two center-backs in Benjamin Angoua of Côte d’Ivoire, and Antonio Mlinar Delamea of Slovenia, along with new goalkeeper Cody Cropper; an American.
Being a goalkeeper myself, communication is arguably the most important part of my job. I constantly have to organize and talk to my back line for 90+ minutes. But if you throw in two center-backs who play directly in front of me and do not speak my language very well, things can get disorganized very quickly.
However, the Revs lack of consistent success isn’t a new problem. In 2015, following their majestic season, winning the eastern conference and making it all the way to the MLS Cup Finals, the Revolution were eliminated in the very first round. Last year they failed to even make the postseason.
Currently, while it is still early in the season, the Revs sit in the very last wildcard spot. With a record of two wins, two losses and three draws, they find themselves in 8th place in the eastern conference and thirteenth in the entire league; sufficiently in the middle of the pack. That’s what the Revs have been: a middle-of-the-pack type of team, and people are beginning to point fingers at head coach Jay Heaps.
Heaps has been with the club both as a player and a coach. In 1999 as a player he won MLS Rookie-of-the-Year, ranks in the top five in Revs history for games played with 243, games started with 238 and minutes played with 21,619. He was hired as the head coach in 2011 and holds a collective record of 65-67-38 in the regular season; good for a winning percentage of 38%. Nothing to boast about, really to anyone, and people are beginning to call for a change. I agree with them.
When you have the caliber players that you have and continue, for years, fail to put up successful numbers, a change in leadership should begin to circulate through the front offices in Foxboro.
Will Jay Heaps find a way to get more wins under his belt? Or is this the end of an era in Gillette Stadium for the former player?