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Thursday, October 10, 2013
Revs hope grit, perseverance pay off

By Brian O'Connell

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Last Saturday’s match -- or more accurately, the end of it -- may have left the Revolution with a bitter taste, but Lee Nguyen liked what he saw from his teammates in the 2-2 draw against the New York Red Bulls.

“We showed grit, determination and perseverance from that game (as well as) the will to come back,” Nguyen said. “We never gave up. We know that we can come into an away team's (stadium) and come back.”

The confidence to come back on the road is something that served the Revolution especially well at Red Bull Arena. Prior to Saturday’s clash, the Revolution had never gotten a single point at the state-of-the-art stadium, where they’d lost all four of its previous games there since it opened in 2010.

Granted, the Revolution fell short of grabbing maximum points for the second straight week. But the point they pocketed on Saturday may prove to be a valuable one with only five points separating fourth and eighth place in the East.

With another road game on tap for Saturday, which will pit the Revolution against the fourth-place Montreal Impact, Nguyen knows that he and his teammates must employ the never-say-die attitude that carried them last week.

"It's no different than the New York game,” Nguyen said. “(It’s going to be the) same mentality going in there. We know we need three points."

Too gritty for their own good?

One thing the Revolution hasn’t been afraid to do in recent weeks is stand their ground against a physical opponent. But, to the dismay of Revolution coach Jay Heaps, it’s also gotten his squad in trouble on more than a few occasions.

“Whenever I preach ‘get stuck in,’ we seem to get a red card,” quipped Heaps. "That was my message at halftime, and sure enough we have one less player by the end of the (Red Bulls) game.”

Indeed, Andy Dorman’s 86th-minute red card ensured the Revolution would finish shorthanded, even if the punishment may not have fit the crime. Replays of Dorman’s challenge on Jonny Steele showed that the appropriate call may have warranted a caution instead.

While Heaps had plenty to say about the officiating following the match, he offered his view on how MLS matches are called on the whole.

“I'm just glad I didn't play with the way things are going (now),” Heaps said. “Because I’m telling you, me and (Red Bulls coach) Mike Petke would be having a coffee in the 3rd minute of (Saturday’s) game if they called it (then) how they call these games now."

Scoreboard watching

While the seventh-place Revolution are certainly focused on the task at hand, Nguyen admitted that he can’t help but track the out-of-town scores, especially with the likes of Houston (third place), Montreal (fourth place), Philadelphia (fifth place), Chicago (sixth place) and Columbus (eighth place) all vying for a postseason berth.

“It's tough when some games work for us, some games don't, it's just how it works,” Nguyen said. “But we know if we win this game this week, we know it's in our hands."