Heaps sees bright spots on defense

March, 27, 2014
Mar 27
11:35
AM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Saturday’s 0-0 draw against the Whitecaps may not have yielded the Revolution their first win -- or first goal -- of the season, but coach Jay Heaps liked what he saw.

Although his squad failed to get on the board for the third straight week, Heaps was impressed with the way his players kept the Whitecaps talented attack off the board, limiting their opponents to a season-low two shots on target.

“Overall, our performance was pretty good in a lot of areas, except for the major one, which is putting our chances away,” Heaps said. “But I thought in terms of how we moved the ball, and the chances we created, there was some good stuff.”

Of course, having Defender of the Year Jose Goncalves back on the pitch certainly stabilized the rear. The Portuguese center back collected a game-high 13 clearances, and occasionally chipped in on the attacking front, as well. But Heaps was just as pleased with the effort that the entire squad, top to bottom, put together to keep the dangerous Whitecap attack off the board for the first time this season.

“Defensively, I was happy with how we played, and overall, our mentality was right,” Heaps said. “We just have to be cleaner and better in the box.”

Dorman to the rescue

A major development in the back line’s success Saturday was the performance of Andy Dorman in the six spot.

In 90 minutes of action, the 31-year-old midfielder completed 83 percent of his team-high 48 passes and nearly scored in the fifth minute on a Chris Tierney corner kick. But Dorman deflected the credit.

“It was a lot easier with Jose and A.J. (Soares) back there,” Dorman said. “They made my job a lot easier there, especially with the way that the front players pressed the ball as well, it makes it a lot easier.”

As well as he played against the Whitecaps, Dorman doesn’t believe he’s a lock for the midfielder’s spot going forward, especially with sophomore Scott Caldwell proving himself capable in the past.

“It’s just a case of what the opposition’s style of play is, and which one of us suits (that style) more than the other,” Dorman said. “We’ve played together as well, so there'll be more opportunities for that as the season progresses.”

Heaps won't rush to make changes

There’s no denying that the Revolution attack hasn’t lived up to its billing three games into the season, and Heaps has surely poured over the film to see what can be done to correct it.

But one thing he won’t do is give into the temptation of overhauling the club’s 4-1-4-1 formation, one which can leave even the best strikers begging for chances when it isn’t operating at peak efficiency.

“We’re not trying to re-create what we’re doing,” Heaps said. “Right now, we’re still playing well, we’re creating chances, and we’re going to continue to play as hard as we can in the way we know how to play.”

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