NEW YORK -- As the New England Revolution are finding out, there are rarely quick fixes in soccer.
New England fought back to get a result at Yankee Stadium with a late goal from Xavier Kouassi, who nodded home from about six yards out in the 86th minute. The Revolution would have preferred a victory, of course, but were satisfied with the result given how the match played out.
“You go into these games wanting to get maximum points but as the game goes on, we had to come back twice and we were happy with the point,” head coach Jay Heaps said. “I thought our guys battled really hard, even Kouassi who got injured there before that play. To come in and finish, it shows so much heart.
"I was real excited. Things will improve. I don’t think we were at our best but at the same time to come in here and play against a really good team [is not easy].”
Heaps said he planned to insert Kouassi in the second half as part of his rotation plans for the busy week, which will conclude on Saturday at home against Toronto FC .
New England will head into that game with some confidence thanks to Kouassi's first MLS goal, but Kelyn Rowe also earned praise from Heaps after the match. After all, it was Rowe who set up the equalizer with some technical brilliance after playing both left and right back during portions of the Eastern Conference affair.
“I wish I could put it into words. You just love having him," said Heaps. "You could put him in any position and he has a performance. I’ve said it before, you could put players and they’ll get it done, but Kelyn is having performances. He was really good at left back and he was really good at right back, too. He’s excellent at any of the positions we put him.”
Rowe has played almost everywhere for the Revolution throughout his career. He can function as a wide attacking midfielder, supporting the likes of Lee Nguyen and Diego Fagundez. He has also played centrally as playmaker or shuttler, and, as was the case on Wednesday night, on the left or right side of defense.
Rowe said the reason he’s so comfortable playing anywhere is because he does his homework.
“Throughout the week, I know that there’s one, two, three positions that I could slot into,” Rowe said. “To be prepared, I make sure I know every position on the field so if I do have to slide into a position, I can do it without too much of a problem.”
Rowe said he studies both Heaps’ tactics and that of his opponents every week. For this week, he said he studied both Jack Harrison and Rodney Wallace’s tendencies given that Rowe was going to play as a fullback in a 4-3-3 setup.
Rowe did enough to help get a result. Not only on the defensive side, but in the attacking half, too.
“It’s huge to get a point on the road," said Rowe. "It’s not what we drew up but it’s something that for us. It was a success because we were down 2-1 and came back at the end.”