FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Call it a matter of experience over youth in the case of Andy Dorman, as the New England Revolution midfielder looks to parlay a solid 90 minutes this past Saturday in a 0-0 draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps into a more permanent role in the starting XI.
As coach Jay Heaps continues to shuffle the Revolution’s starting lineup, the decision to keep the veteran in over second-year midfielder Scott Caldwell paid off across the middle third of the field in the scoreless draw at Gilette Stadium.
Citing Dorman’s work with the backline as a main reason for the team’s defensive success on Saturday, Heaps seemed pleased by his decision.
“I thought Dorman had a very good game covering the guy in front of him and helping shield the back four,” Heaps told reporters at training on Tuesday. “We tried to play, and we were exposed for the counter.
“I thought that when we do that we have to be dealt with properly and I thought that Andy did an excellent job, along with the center backs, in dealing with that.”
Those who play alongside of Dorman recognize his importance to the lineup and were quick to back their coach’s sentiment.
“With his physical prowess, he was able to win a lot of 50-50 balls for us, air balls, second balls,” Lee Nguyen told media on Tuesday. “It really helped. Also, his composure on the ball when we did win it, he was able to string passes together and help us get out of the back.”
Those passes came with an 83 percent success rate on Saturday.
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Although Caldwell seemingly did nothing to lose his job, the return of Saer Sene and Kelyn Rowe to the starting lineup, along with the Dorman decision, may have relegated the 23-year-old to a sub role for the time being.
It boils down to a decade of wisdom versus two seasons, and although Caldwell is an integral part of the Revolution’s plans, for now Dorman could be vital to a youthful Revolution squad still seeking to carve out a proper attack.
“His experience really helps out a lot,” added Nguyen.