New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps in Arizona
Courtesy of New England Revolution

Despite final loss, Heaps likes hunger he sees in Revs

TUCSON, Ariz. – Jay Heaps saw a lot of good things in his team during their undefeated run here in Arizona. After Saturday night’s Desert Diamond Cup final, the New England Revolution remained undefeated.

But they weren’t carrying a trophy back home.

“Penalties are always frustrating,” the Revs head coach told after his team fell 4-2 on spot kicks to the LA Galaxy after a scoreless 90 minutes. “I want to make sure the guys’ heads aren’t down. But in the end, in the grand scheme of things, it was a good preseason, a good tournament.”

New England wrap up their preseason undefeated under their new manager, including a 3-0-1 record at the Desert Diamond Cup in addition to victories over FC Tucson and Boston College. Now comes the task of heading into the regular season.

Heaps believes the most important thing the Revs take out of their preseason was a sense of who exactly their teammates are.

“I think they got an understanding of who’s standing next to them – when you look in the mirror and you’re under duress, who’s standing next to you to help you through those moments," he explained. "So from a competitive standpoint, those are real good moments to see the character of the players.”

And despite Saturday night’s loss, Heaps says he’s seen what he needs to see out of his team, character-wise.

“I’ll tell you, there isn’t a man in that locker room that didn’t want the trophy,” he continued. “And I like that. I want that hunger. When you’re building a successful team, you’re looking for guys like that.”

HIGHLIGHTS: LA top New England 4-2 on PKs

Stay connected: Get access to breaking news, videos, and analysis from North America's best soccer reporters via "This Week in MLS" newsletter or using our FREE mobile app.