FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Former US defender and current New England coach Jay Heaps wrestled with his emotions when Revolution forward Jerry Bengtson scored the winner in San Pedro Sula on Wednesday afternoon.
It's tough to blame him: His striker sent his country crashing to a 2-1 defeat.
“It's a great goal from Jerry,” Heaps told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday morning. “You're happy because [he's on your team] and you're in the trenches with him, but it's tough to see the US go and have a performance and a result like that.”
Those conflicted emotions transitioned to uneasiness moments later when Bengtson left the field due to an apparent injury. Revolution officials contacted Bengtson on Wednesday night and received assurances that he did not suffer a significant knock.
“There was a moment of pause there,” Heaps said. “The feed I saw didn't show what happened with the injury. When you see a guy come out [like that], you don't know. We spoke with him last night over the phone.”
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Bengtson is expected to return to the Boston area on Thursday night ahead of a significant snowstorm slated to smother the region on Friday and Saturday. The striker will then travel with his teammates to Tucson, Ariz., next Monday, Feb. 11, for the final component of the Revolution's preseason preparations.
His presence will bolster a Revs side in need of his goals to meet its objectives in 2013. Bengtson failed to replicate his prolific international form during his first season with the Revs, but the upcoming schedule – including a protracted six-week stretch with the Revs before World Cup qualifying duty kicks in again – offers an opportunity for the striker to acclimate with his club team and establish the foundation required to produce more frequently this season.
“We want to get him back here,” Heaps said. “From his standpoint, he has to compartmentalize. He's got a lot of work to do with the national team. He did that work. Now he joins us. We want to get him up to speed with our guys. It shows that Jerry has got a knack for the goal. We have to get him chances to score like his team in Honduras does.”