New England Revolution are starting fresh

Fans will get their first look at the new Revs March 10 when they travel to San Jose. The first Revs home game is March 24.

In 2012, the New England Revolution are pressing the reset button.

Not that the franchise necessarily needed a new beginning. Attendance has been relatively strong at Gillette Stadium/Foxboro Stadium since the program got off the ground in 1996 and the team has seen its fair share of success on the field, having appeared in four MLS Cup finals (2002, ’05, ’06, ’07).
But management felt the need to tweak, as former head coach Steve Nicol, who had led the Revolution for a decade, was let go after the team finished last in the MLS’s Eastern Conference.

Brought in for the fresh start at head coach was former Revolution star defender and New England native Jay Heaps. To some onlookers, the hire was a curious move as the 35-year-old Heaps has little head coaching experience.

“He’s a really dynamic guy and that’s what we were looking for,” said another fresh face in Brian Bilello, who was promoted to team president last November. “In our league, the rules change constantly. It’s not like the NFL where we’re drafting guys out of one geographical region each year.
There’s a lot of changing that goes on year to year and (Heaps) isn’t afraid to change the way he thinks about things.”

 Heaps’ résumé is quite impressive despite the lack of head coaching experience. He was most recently working at Morgan Stanley’s private wealth division and has also been a color commentator for Revolution broadcasts since retiring from the game in 2009.

Heaps played soccer at Duke University before being selected No. 2 overall in the 1999 MLS Draft and was a pupil of legendary Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski as he admittedly “rode the pine” on the basketball team during the late ’90s. But Heaps learned a great deal from the Hall of Fame coach every day and plans to practice many of his lessons.

“I want to emulate a lot of the things Coach K does,” Heaps told Metro. “His passion is the main thing and it’s contagious. I also love how blatantly honest he is. He doesn’t lie, he doesn’t BS you. He gives it to you straight and brings it every day, every night.”

Heaps has surrounded himself with an experienced coaching staff in hopes of returning the franchise to glory.

“There’s a realism to this fresh start,” Heaps said. “When things get a little stale, you bring in new faces and sometimes it calls for a rebirth. We need to find our own identity.”

3 players to watch this season for the New England Revolution

Kelyn Rowe
The Revolution had a season to forget last year, finishing with the fewest wins in the league (5) and tied for the fewest points (28). They had the third overall pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, and used it on UCLA midfielder Kelyn Rowe. The 20-year-old Rowe looks to make an immediate impact on a Revs team that could use help across the board. A U.S. Under-23 National Team player, Rowe has been a huge reason the Revolution is 5-0-0 in preseason play. He has four goals and four assists to date, including both goals in the Rev’s recent 2-0 win over the New York Red Bulls. This kid is the real deal.
 
A.J. Soares
If Rowe has a solid season for the Revs, he’ll be the second straight rookie to do so – with last season’s No. 6 overall pick, A.J. Soares, being the other. Soares, a defender, started 28 games for the Revs last season, logging a whopping 2464 minutes (high for a rookie). Standing at 6-feet, Soares isn’t a huge player, but will still use his body to win balls and isn’t afraid to get physical (two yellow cards, two red cards last season). After having minor surgery on his ankle that ended his season a few games early, Soares looks to be ready to go heading into the season.
 
Benny Feilhaber
Feilhaber is now the face of the Revolution, and for good reason. He was acquired through the MLS Allocation Process last season after he signed on to join MLS in April and was quickly snatched up by the Revs after two teams in front of them passed for reasons having to do with dollar figures. He has made 38 appearances with the U.S. National Team and was a member of the U.S.’ 2010 FIFA World Cup and 2008 U.S. Olympic team. Feilhaber, a midfielder, started 23 games last season for the Revs, scoring four goals and leading the team with seven assists. Those numbers will increase this season.
-Jimmy Toscano



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…