Simply listening to Jay Heaps verifies that he’s taking the New England Revolution’s slump personally. Heaps, now in his fourth year at the helm, is overseeing a team that has only collected three points since the beginning of June. It’s a disappointing run of which Heaps is taking ownership.
"Anytime the team is on the field, it’s my responsibility to put them in a position to have the best outcome to win," Heaps explained to media on Wednesday. "When that doesn’t happen, I certainly take it very hard, I take it very personally, and I take it with as much as you can possibly take a loss."
Always looking to get better, Heaps has spent time assessing what has gone right and wrong during the past two months. The Revolution’s gut-check tie against DC United and its 2-0 shutout of the Chicago Fire provide glimmers of hope. The same can’t be said for the team’s most recent outings—a 3-0 loss to FC Dallas and a 4-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls.
"There are certain losses that you can take positives from. The last two losses, I got to be honest, there weren’t a ton of positives in there," Heaps said. "Those are more disheartening because the setup was wrong and the game plan had holes in it if we didn’t setup the right way."
Declining dejection, Heaps has worked hard to shift the tide by rethinking his game prep. With a deep team that includes plenty of options, especially on the attacking end, it’s about putting the pieces in the right spots.
With the summer transfer window now open, change could also be initiated from the outside. The Revs currently have open roster spots, which could be used to fill positions of need, including defenders.
"We’re always looking for pieces," Heaps said. "We as a staff and working with management to add new players, that’s an ongoing process. Now is the time that the window opens so you’re hoping that the pieces you’ve been working on can come to fruition."
Even if things don’t come to pass, Heaps knows that his team should be performing better. The Revs employ the 2013 MLS Defender of the Year, the number one draft pick in the 2013 SuperDraft, and the 2014 MLS MVP runner-up. Titles like these aren’t just handed out.
"We’re definitely better than we’ve shown in the last couple weeks and we’re definitely not playing at the level we need to be playing at," Heaps commented. "When we talk about responsibility, that’s on me, that’s on the staff and that’s on everyone holding each other accountable."