The New England Revolution made big news on Tuesday when they announced the firing of long-time coach Jay Heaps. We’ll have plenty of coverage in the coming days but here are three quick-fire thoughts.
1. The last two games hurt Heaps’ legacy. After nine seasons as a Revs player and five as the team’s coach, there’s no question that Heaps is a local legend. That said, his reputation took a hit this past week. The #HeapsOut movement grew leaps and bounds after the Revs suffered a historic 7-0 loss to Atlanta United followed by a 3-1 loss to Sporting KC. By Sunday, most fans were demanding a new coach after seeing their team collect more red cards than goals. If Heaps had left midseason the reaction would’ve probably been different, especially after he guided the Revs to a MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup final. Instead, Heaps will walk away with most applauding the decision.
2. What happens next will say a lot about the organization. The Revs need to make a statement in the next few months. Fans are upset because their team has fallen behind as the league continues to grow. To combat this, the organization needs to hire a coach with experience and connections. They also need to think about the personnel in the Front Office. Do Mike Burns and Brian Bilello stay on? Will more support be added? Finally, the organization needs to be willing to bring in impact players that will help both on and off the field. Mentioning Jermaine Jones is cliche, but he’s the type of player that needs to be brought to New England. He sold tickets, changed outside perspectives of the team, and brought a sense of belief to Foxboro. More signings like that are needed to restore the faith of fans.
3. It’s time for a rebuild. The highly touted young core has gotten older without producing much in the way of a results. With this in mind, it’s likely that we see some big changes in the offseason. So, who stay and who goes? My guess is that the team builds around Cody Cropper, Antonio Delamea, Claude Dielna, Diego Fagundez, Lee Nguyen, and Kelyn Rowe. More players will likely stay but that’s the group that I’d keep intact.