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
Local

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…