Jose Goncalves back- For the foreseeable future. Revolution General Manager Mike Burns took time to speak with media prior to kick-off about the Goncalves situation. He said that Goncalves and the club had had discussions and that the reigning league Defender of the Year is happy in New England and has put past disputes behind him. Goncalves reportedly had a good week of training with his teammates. On Saturday afternoon, he re-took the starting lineup and wore the captain's armband, holding off a talented core of Whitecaps attacking midfielders and teaming up well with A.J. Soares in central defense. Whether past disagreements resurface remains to be seen. But Burns' statements-- plus Goncalves play against Vancouver-- seem to suggest that he's focused on what's ahead.
Jay Heaps dealt well with Vancouver's substitutions- Vancouver coach Carl Robinson had plenty of weapons on the bench to throw at the Revolution. Bringing on Pedro Morales added some creativity and skill that was absent from Vancouver's play in the first half. Adding Kekuta Manneh mid-way through the second half gave Andrew Farrell and the Revolution defense a speedster to deal with on the left flank. The back line held up and Heaps was able to keep his squad focused. It was obvious that everyone on the back line was fit and ready for the athletic and dynamic play of Vancouver's depth.
Outlook- A 0-0 draw in the home opener is definitely two points lost, not one point gained. But given that this is the first point of the Revolution's season, there is reason to believe that this result can act as a cushion or potential momentum builder going forward. For one, the defense remained solid and can rejoice in the fact that Jose Goncalves had a Defender of the Year-worthy performance. And despite not scoring, the Revolution's offense didn't look too bad, either. No, there were no goals to show for their efforts. But at least three of the Revolution's chances barely trickled wide of goal. One tally will be enough to get the floodgates going, much like in 2013.
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