New DP Bengtson shows worth immediately for hot Revs
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – It didn't take long for Jerry Bengtson to show why the New England Revolution wanted to bring him in as a Designated Player.
Bengtson waited just 24 minutes to open his Revolution account in Sunday night's 2-0 victory over New York and provide an example of the type of goalscoring prowess the Revs will want to see from him on a regular basis.
The Honduran international striker made the right run and moved into the right spot to finish off a tempting rebound after Saër Sène's breakaway attempt was blocked.
WATCH: Full Match Highlights
“It was a beautiful play by my teammate,” Bengtson told MLSsoccer.com through a translator after the match. “He was very unlucky. He took a shot and the goalkeeper made a save. I was focused enough to lead to the goal. I never lost focus on following the play.”
Revolution coach Jay Heaps wanted to place Bengtson into the right position to excel upon his debut. He opted to start Bengtson on the bench after he completed just three training sessions with his new teammates before this match and received his P1 work visa and his international transfer certificate on Friday.
The decision to insert Bengtson for the final half-hour – with a lead – gave him a platform to succeed without unduly burdening him so quickly after his arrival, according to Heaps.
“It's not an easy transition,” Heaps said. “He literally signed his contract and joined our team in less than 12 hours. I think we have to manage expectations and make sure he acclimates well. He's done that – he's come in and he's getting to know the team. To throw him out there for more than that would have been unfair to him.”
Bengtson's production during his brief stint in the game – he led the line well in addition to scoring that goal – offered a glimpse of what the former CD Motagua striker can produce when he obtains full fitness and settles into the squad.
For the moment, though, the focus is on Bengtson's first MLS goal in an important intra-conference match, a goal that secured the three points and sealed a fifth consecutive result (2-0-3) for the surging Revs.
“Jay put him on for that exact reason: to help us go forward and try to get a second goal,” said midfielder Lee Nguyen, who scored the Revs' other goal. “You can tell they were trying to press us, and it made them vulnerable to the counterattack. With his pace, he was able to get by the defense and get the second goal. It was crucial.”