New England Revolution's Teal Bunbury shows his versatility on wing, gives Jay Heaps lineup options

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – A new look to the starting lineup last Saturday may signify a permanent switch for the New England Revolution, with Teal Bunbury's ability to move from center forward to the wing serving as a spark for the attack.

“It was the first time we were able to see Teal with a different look,” coach Jay Heaps told the media on Wednesday. “We wanted to be real offensive.”

The change resulted in two stoppage-time goals in the win over Sporting Kansas City, including Bunbury’s first in a New England kit, and could serve as an indicator that the Revolution offense, which had two goals over their first five games, has turned the corner.

Heaps noted that the idea to shake up the lineup on any given week is based on the opponent at hand and the where the players that he has available to him can work best against them.

“We know players strengths and we know what they’re capable of,” Heaps said.

He can now take comfort in knowing what Bunbury is capable of when shifted to a different position, lauding the forward’s unselfish attitude as a key component to the success of his team's attack.

“Teal’s been great, he’s an excellent guy in the locker room,” said Heaps. “He works extremely hard in all facets of his game, and on both sides of the ball. That’s the kind of players that we want to have here.”

Bunbury, who had played on the wing on a few occasions while with Kansas City, is still working on the nuances of the position, but is eager to learn and do more from that spot when called upon to do so.

“I thought I fit in well there,” said Bunbury. “There’s different things defensively that I was learning as the game was going on, that I have to get sharper at.

“I do like the aspect of being able to get the ball facing the defender moreso than being the point guy. I also like making runs in behind there, as the point guy. But I like either position, as long as I’m on the field and contributing.”

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.