Three formations have defined the Jay Heaps era. Throughout his six seasons at the helm of the Revolution, Heaps has allowed his system to evolve by rarely—if ever—making impulsive lineup changes.
In the early days, the Revolution gaffer deployed a 4-1-4-1 with a rotating cast of defensive midfielders, from Clyde Simms to Andy Dorman. In 2014, the arrival of Jermaine Jones threw a wrench in this system, and Heaps responded by transitioning to a 4-2-3-1. In this setup, Jones and Scott Caldwell held down the defensive midfield spots and Charlie Davies earned the lion’s share of starts up top.
In late 2016, nearly a year after Jones’ departure, the 4-2-3-1 proved incompatible for Heaps’ new-look roster. He eventually turned to the present 4-4-2 diamond, which has enabled his talented cast of attacking midfielders to see the field at the same time.
But 13 matches into the 2017 season, the diamond has become a common point of conversation, and even tension, among Revolution fans. The club has scored 21 goals, fifth-most in the Eastern Conference, though Juan Agudelo and Kei Kamara have yet to find chemistry as the two forwards. Five different players have started in the center attacking midfield role. And the team currently sits below .500 with a 4-5-4 record.
Is it time to abandon the 4-4-2 diamond? Should Heaps show more spontaneity and begin testing a new formation?
Share your ideas in the comments section below.