FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Every opportunity to take the field – even in a friendly against a college team – represents a critical opportunity for New England at this stage of preseason.
Revolution coach Jay Heaps continues to mold his side ahead of the season opener at San Jose on March 10 and needs every possible moment to accomplish that task. A second friendly in five days against Boston College offered yet another chance to push the group forward in its preparations.
Wednesday afternoon's 2-1 victory against the Eagles at Gillette Stadium lacked the refinement Heaps will want to see by the season opener at Buck Shaw Stadium, but it did allow the Revs boss to evaluate where his side needs to improve over the next few weeks.
“It was more about getting out on the big field and having another opportunity to get our guys together,” Heaps told MLSsoccer.com after the Revs dispatched the local ACC opponents for a second time. “It wasn't the best, but there were some moments that were pretty good.”
Alec Purdie and Shalrie Joseph scored on either side of a Diego Medina-Mendez equalizer to give the Revs their third win in three preseason matches. The victory, however, matters far less than the manner of the performance – comfortable in possession without the desired incisiveness – at this stage of the proceedings.
Heaps said the affair allowed him to gather some critical information about his side ahead of next week's trip to Tucson, Ariz., to participate in the four-team Desert Diamond Cup.
“What's nice is that some of the bad moments, you don't always see that in the bubble or the training facility,” Heaps said. “When you get on the field and they're five or 10 yards out of position, you can see it clearly out here. That's good. Now is the time we need to get these things sorted.”
With matches against LA (Feb. 22), New York (Feb. 25), Real Salt Lake (Feb. 29) and a to-be-determined rematch against one of those sides (March 3) on the docket over the next two weeks, the process should start sooner rather than later.
“We're getting better by every game,” Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe said after his two-assist performance. “Little things might be better at one point and then another little thing might be better in the next game. It's something we wanted to work on. We've worked a lot on possession out of the back today and it worked out well. There were a couple of slipups, but those are going to happen. We got the win and that's what we wanted.”
No movement yet on Moreno
The quest to land Colombian striker José Moreno presses forward without a resolution. Moreno has signed a contract with MLS to play for the Revolution, but reports out of Colombia have suggested he wants to remain with current club Once Caldas.
Revolution officials engaged in talks with their Colombian counterparts over the past week, but they have yet to reach a resolution, according to Heaps.
“As of right now, we have not been told that he is not coming,” Heaps said. “[Revolution general manager] Mike Burns and [Revolution chief operating officer] Brian Bilello are sorting out where that is, but, in terms of everything that we've seen, it's a signed contract by both the club and the player. I know it is.”