1-0 Win over the Portland Timbers (March 24, 2012)
You never forget your first. The hiring of Jay Heaps to replace Stevie Nicol as head coach brought apprehension from many of the Revolution faithful. Heaps had been a devoted player and an insightful commentator but leading the team without any prior experience seemed like a stretch. After stumbling out of the gates with back-to-back losses, the Revs got their first win of the Heaps’ era against the Portland Timbers. Saer Sene scored his first MLS goal in the opening minute and the Revolution held on for the victory. It wasn’t the prettiest win but it did help ease some of the anxiety about Heaps as coach.
1-0 Win over the Chicago Fire (October 20, 2012)
The Revs were inconsistent during Heaps’ first year as head coach. Wins were typically followed by losses or ties and the team went through a particularly painful period from July to September where they went winless in 10 tries. Although the Revs missed the playoffs for the third straight year, the final two games of 2012 did provide hope. The win against rival Chicago was especially satisfying. In front of 25,534 home fans, Heaps put his trust in the youth and they performed well with Diego Fagundez scoring off a Kelyn Rowe feed and Bobby Shuttleworth keeping a clean sheet. The future looked bright as the Revs collected consecutive wins to end the season
2-0 Win over the Philadelphia Union (April 13, 2013)
After a 4-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls in front of over 200 traveling fans, Heaps promised better and he delivered against the Union. Utilizing the 4-1-4-1 formation for the first time, the Revs got goals from Fagundez and Lee Nguyen to flatten the Union 2-0. The victory avenged an earlier loss and helped remind fans of the talent found on the roster. The 4-1-4-1 formation stuck and the positive results started to accumulate.
2-0 Win over the Houston Dynamo (May 18, 2013)
No one plays the underdog role better than the New England Revolution. With only two wins in ten games, the Revs traveled to one of the most daunting stadiums in MLS to face their dreaded rivals. After seeing their 36-game home unbeaten streak come to an end the previous week, the Dynamo were committed to reestablishing BBVA Stadium as a fortress. Matching red cards to Bobby Boswell and Dimitry Imbongo forced both teams to adjust early. The Revs were efficient with the extra space and puzzled the Dynamo with their quick passes and darting runs. Fagundez and the debuting Juan Agudelo scored to help highlight the arrival of the youth movement.
1-0 Win over the Montreal Impact (October 13, 2013)
You learn a lot about a team when they have their back up against the wall. With three weeks left in the season, the Revs traveled to Stade Staputo needing a win to stay relevant in the crowded Eastern Conference. In spite the hostile atmosphere and an early injury to Sene, New England was able to earn a 1-0 victory courtesy of a Jose Goncalves goal. Heaps played an important role in orchestrating the result by making three smart subs: Imbongo for Sene, Alston for Imbongo and Simms for Fagundez. Heaps deserves further praise because the team showed a lot of heart and focus, two characteristics that the former player has instilled since becoming head coach. While the win won’t be enough to get the Revs into the playoffs, it is an important moment in the Heaps era.
(image courtesy of Kari Heistad)