New England Revolution Training Translated Into Win Over Philadelphia
The New England Revolution defeated the Philadelphia Union 3-0 on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium. An entire week of practice and preparation went into the Revs win and according to Head Coach Jay Heaps, their efforts paid off.
“Well, I stood a week ago here, before you, saying that we needed to make sure we put together a full 90 minutes and it started from making sure defensively we were more sound – and I thought tonight that showed. We had a really good week of training. Guys worked tirelessly this week to really hone in on that pressure, cover balance, and make sure that we’re getting pressure to the ball, but also having good passing lanes cut out and then having the rest of the line be good.
Offensively, I thought, if we could defend really well, we were going to get opportunities going forward. And that happened, but the key for me tonight was the zero [goals from Philadelphia] and I don’t think there was a ton of really clear chances and that’s the key.”
One thing that was firing on all cylinders in Saturday’s match, as well as last weeks, was the New England offense.
“I think there’s good movement. I think when our spacing is really good and I thought Teal [Bunbury] did a great job tonight of doing both, of opening up some of the passing lanes – and he ended up being a little bit higher than Kei [Kamara] is. That gives Kei a little bit of space underneath. We dropped Lee [Nguyen] in a little bit deeper, but for me, the offensive stuff will come.
There’s no question in my mind, we have players that can play. But we can never take plays off defensively right now. I was proud of our attacking players who we’re calling upon to defend, and Kei is one of those, and Teal and Lee. Tonight, we really dug into them to defend. I think when they’re playing like that and they get the opportunity to attack, they’re even better because they know that this is a good opportunity to go forward.”
Kei Kamara has gotten hot as of late and provided Heaps and New England with two goals against the Union. Heaps credits Kamara’s hard work as the contributing factor to his success on the pitch.
“Look, I think Kei [Kamara] is putting his head down and working and understanding that we’re trying to get him service, trying to do things to make our entire team better. But, in that meantime, he’s working. He worked really hard tonight.
I thought tonight he did all the little things – clearance off the line, huge play [in the 69 th minute]. That’s one of the biggest plays of the game. And then how he held the ball up, I thought he did a really good job holding the ball up and at least battling with their center backs. For me, Kei carries a heavy burden. I think there’s a lot of scrutiny on Kei. I thought, in terms of how he went about his business tonight, I thought he handled it really well.”
Last week Kamara spoke out, questioning his place with the team and what future might lie ahead.
“If I’m not scoring goals, I feel like I’m not helping the team out,” Kamara said after the win over LA last week. “[Tonight] I got a goal, but it’s real difficult if I can’t produce for this team because it’s a good team. Maybe I wasn’t the right piece of the puzzle to help the team move forward.”
After the win over Philly, Coach Heaps was asked if Kamara speaking out after the Galaxy win was what motivated him to score two goals against the Union.
“I wish I knew that or how to do that. It’s probably a good question and I wish I knew the answer to it. That’s kind of where I’m at. I don’t know if that motivates him or puts him in a position, but tonight he was awesome. So, whether it was that, or, I really thought he had a good week in training as well, so I think that was important.
Kei [Kamara] is quiet. He keeps to himself. And I got to be honest with you, I didn’t even know any of those comments came out last week until Sunday or Monday. Because I don’t read any of your stuff, guys, I’m sorry. Especially yours [Brian O’Connell]. I never read it, ever. I know better. Ever. No, you can put that in the quotes. And you can put the website that I’ll never read. Insaying that, that stuff happens, but we have a really good locker room.
I’ve been around and I’ve been inlocker rooms where if someone kind of spoke out – and I don’t know what he meant by what he said allthe way – but if that came in our locker room years ago, there would’ve been a bigger deal. Our guys put their heads down and went to work and Kei the same way. So, it wasn’t even an issue at all this week. I thought we had our best training of the entire year this week.”
As the game ended on Saturday, Coach Heaps brought the entire team to the center of the field to have a post-game talk. During his post-game conference, he explained that he wanted to have everyone’s attention when addressing his squad.
“There’s autograph ally. There’s you guys pulling people away. I wanted to get everyone on the field to really spend a moment to say, ‘starting from postgame last week, to taking care of their bodies, to having a training session on Tuesday that I thought was one of our best training sessions of the year and continue to build on that for the week and to come together and have that culmination on the field.
I wanted them to realize that the work this week paid off. And the fact that we stepped on the field and did what we needed to do. They need to feel that moment again. And for me, hopefully it’s a defining moment for our season.”
Kamara Discusses Goals And Motivation
Kamara’s first goal on Saturday was spectacular. He was able to get high off the ground which he credits to his New Balance cleats. But when asked if he has ever scored a goal like that, he says it has happened in training.
“Yeah, at practice a lot. Obviously, there are no cameras at training. You score most of your most beautiful goals at training, so that’s where that happens. It was a good cross. I’ve got to say it was a good cross from Kelyn [Rowe]. It was right, it was a good cross.”
One thing that helped New England’s offense flow smoothly against the Union was their ability to set each other up properly. Thissomethinghing that Kamara credits their success too.
“Yeah, two goals not from only from me – the last goal from Juan [Agudelo], it’s another great cross from Scottie [Caldwell] looking up. We made eye contact even though his mishit a little bit, but guess what – another big striker is in the box and waiting to finish it, so it’s great.”
When asked about his comments that he said after the Galaxy game, he declined to elaborate on it as he didn’t want to take anything away from the Revs win.
“It’s funny you ask me that question. It looks like I shouldn’t answer questions because when someone asked me that question last week, I answered it. Ives [Galarcep] wasn’t happy because he said I answered a question and it took away from the team’s success. Obviously, our team just had a win today – three points – so if I answer a question like that, he’ll write something else saying I’m taking away from the team’s success, so I’m just going to keep it that way.”
New England returns to action next Saturday, August 5 when they travel to play the Chicago Fire.