Heaps, Goncalves don't duck from blame

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Say what you will about the Revolution’s performance in Saturday’s 3-1 loss to the eighth-place Union, but one thing you can’t accuse two of team’s most prominent personalities of is ducking the blame.

Following the club’s third straight league loss -- and second straight at home -- coach Jay Heaps willingly shouldered some of the responsibility for his team’s recent woes in league play.

“There are a lot of things that go into a game,” Heaps said. “So there’s a lot of things that need to be looked at, and it starts with me.”

Heaps didn’t go into specifics about what he and his staff have to improve upon. Of course, the challenge for any coach whose team hadn’t played as a cohesive unit in nearly three weeks is getting all 11 starters back on the same page.

However, Heaps refused to blame the World Cup break for his team’s lack of sharpness on Saturday. Rather, he pointed the finger at himself and his fellow coaches for the way his team wilted in the final third, especially during the first half.

“I wasn’t happy with -- whether it’s my preparation and whether we, as a staff, weren’t getting our guys ready,” Heaps said.

While Heaps was putting the spotlight on himself for his team’s lack of preparation against an opportunistic Union side, team captain Jose Goncalves was one of only a handful of players who spoke with reporters following the match.

No doubt one of the reasons the Revolution ended up chasing the game on Saturday was due to an uncharacteristic gaffe from Goncalves in the 42nd minute.

After Conor Casey flicked a long ball from goalkeeper Zac MacMath forward, the captain attempted to safely nod it to his goalkeeper, Brad Knighton. But the back pass never made it to Knighton, as Sebastien Le Toux pounced on it and pushed it through to give the guests the lead going into halftime.

“It’s something that happens very fast in the game,” Goncalves said. “We’re a little bit late to react, the ball was right into (Le Toux’s) feet. Brad had nothing to do with this goal. It’s my mistake, and I take the responsibility.”

But Goncalves didn’t just take the blame for Le Toux’s first goal of the game. Looking back at the Revolution’s last three losses, he admitted that he and his fellow defenders haven’t been playing up to the standard set when they strung together a 433-minute home shutout streak to start the season.

“It’s difficult,” Goncalves said. “In the last few games, we conceded some goals like this, a misunderstanding or communication. It’s something we have to be better in, starting with myself.”