At the risk of getting too excited, there were truly some bright spots from the Revs' stoppage time win this past weekend worth applauding. Several players made a big impact, but the real test for New England will be whether they can, as a unit, build on this positive result and produce another against United on Saturday. Here's some thoughts from last weekend's win. Better late than never, right?
Man Of Consistency. It may be only two games, but Andy Dorman has firmly found his way into the Revs' Starting XI by stringing together two solid outings as a defensive midfielder, an area of significant worry through New England's first two matches of the season. Dorman's insertion has clicked well with both sides of the field, offense and defense, and it seems to be a good fit-at least for the time being. If the Revolution veteran can keep it up, Heaps should find more success in April.
Speaking of Consistency. How about Jose Goncalves, huh? However it is that he and the Revolution front office managed to resolve his early-season contract issues, it certainly seems to have worked wonders. The 2013 MLS Defender of the Year looks to be back in top form and his teammates around him, most notably the rest of the backline, are certainly feeding off of that rejuvenated optimism and confidence. We may never know what went on behind closed doors two weeks ago, but Revs fans everywhere are surely thankful to both parties for finding a way to bury the hatchet.
Striker Quandary. Teal Bunbury has started each of New England's matches thus far in 2014. But this past Saturday we may have gotten our first glimpse at his main competition: Charlie Davies. Davies made an instant impact when he came on against San Jose and he looked both comfortable and lively in the Revs' lone striker role. Although the Revs' stoppage-time game-winner was in part set up by Davies, it was Bunbury's run that helped Lee Nguyen find the space he needed to get his shot off. Until Heaps can find a way to get both on the field at the same time, there might just be a two-way battle for a starting spot very soon.
The Game Ahead. The best thing for Jay Heaps and his squad to do right now is to stay the course. Yes, they got their first win of the season last weekend, but there's still plenty of work to be done. New England needs to be able to build on the positives from their trip to the west coast as well as fix the negatives. Can the Revs replicate the same dominance of possession that they enjoyed during the first half against San Jose? Or more importantly, if they can, will it lead to more quality chances on goal? This weekend's match against D.C. United will be a big test; it's an opportunity to show that New England is a team that can be a consistent threat week-in and week-out.