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Jay Heaps out as New England Revolution boss

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Jay Heaps’ six-year reign at the New England Revolution has come to an end.

On Tuesday morning New England released a statement saying they had “parted ways” with former defender Heaps who took charge in November 2011.

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Heaps led the Revs to the 2014 MLS Cup final where they lost in overtime to the LA Galaxy, while he made three-straight trips to the MLS Cup Playoffs to kick off his managerial career and he also led the Revs to the 2016 U.S. Open Cup final where they lost to FC Dallas.

Nine defeats in their last 14 MLS games, including a 7-0 hammering at Atlanta United last week, sealed Heaps’ fate and New England Revolution GM Michael Burns had the following to say about Heaps’ departure.

“Jay has done a great deal for the club over the years and had considerable achievements. I have great respect for him and wish him well in the next steps of his career, “Burns said. “This decision has not been taken lightly, however, we need to do better than the results have shown from the last couple of seasons and this season left us convinced we need to go in a different direction.”

Assistant coach Tom Soehn has been placed in interim charge of the Revs for the remainder of the 2017 season and the Kraft family, who own the MLS franchise, explained why they fired Heaps.

“As a club, we made the decision to remove Jay Heaps as the head coach of our team. We would like to thank Jay for his tremendous contributions to the club over his 15 years as a player and coach. Jay led us to our fifth MLS Cup appearance and our third US Open Cup Final. He made us all proud and as a former player of ours we are very happy to have helped him launch his coaching career and wish him nothing but the best of success in the future.

“Our goal is to field a team each and every season that is competing for championships and over the past couple of seasons we have fallen short of that goal. We will immediately begin a search for a new head coach and are committed to seeing the New England Revolution once again return to championship contention. – Robert and Jonathan Kraft”

With a 75-81-43 record in the regular season and a 4-3-1 record in the postseason as a coach, Heaps is also the longest-serving head coach in Revs history after spending nine seasons as a player for New England. He will remain a legend of the club.

Yet, after early promise in his coaching career things faded badly in New England for Heaps with the Revs failing to make the playoffs in each of the past two seasons. The former U.S. national team defender was one of a wave of MLS head coaches with vast playing experience in the league after the likes of Ben Olsen, Mike Petke, Jesse Marsch and Greg Vanney were also been handed head coaching gigs.

Heaps has brought through many promising young players such as Andrew Farrell, Scott Caldwell and Kelyn Rowe but with the likes of Juan Agudelo and Diego Fagundez unable to kick on in attack the Revs have struggled to compete in the stacked Eastern Conference.

With a new soccer-specific stadium deal for the Revs no closer to fruition than it was when Heaps took charge in 2011 (the $250 million deal for a stadium in Boston’s Bayside Exposition Center collapsed earlier this year) many will question a lack of investment in the team over the years from the Kraft family as the ultimatum reason for recent struggles on the pitch.

That said, the New England job is still a very attractive one and there will no doubt be a range of top-class applicants to oversee the massive rebuild needed, although no overwhelming favorite for the role has emerged.

MLS Snapshot: Nemeth ruins his return to SKC; NE thrashed again

Photo credit: Sporting Kansas City / @SportingKC
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The game in 100 words (or less): Unlike that of Kekuta Manneh, Krisztian Nemeth’s return to his former home was far from ceremonious, as the New England Revolution attacker (and former Sporting Kansas City man) was sent off after just 11 minutes, with his new outfit 1-0 ahead on a goal scored by Teal Bunbury, another former Sporting KC striker. The Hungarian’s early dismissal paved the way for a ferocious comeback which puts Sporting within a point of the Western Conference’s top spot, and generates a bit of momentum ahead of Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup final agains the New York Red Bulls, right back here at Children’s Mercy Park. Gerso Fernandes pulled SKC level in the 16th minute, just five minutes after Nemeth saw red, and the Bissau-Guinean set up Diego Rubio for what turned out to be the game-winning goal just before halftime. The Chilean striker, and Dom Dwyer’s replacement following his trade in July, grabbed a second goal 12 minutes into the second half, as Peter Vermes’ side pick just its fifth win in 14 games, though it should be noted they’ve lost just twice during that period.

[ MORE: MLS weekend preview — TFC’s Shield chase continues in LA ]

Three Four moments that mattered

4′ — Bunbury’s shot gets deflected, loops over Melia — It was Score Against Your Old Club Night in MLS.

11′ — Nemeth sees red for an elbow — It was the laziest attempt to garner an “I really just don’t want to be here” red card you’ll see for quite some time.

16′ — Fernandes equalizes at the near post — If New England could have held on until halftime before giving up the equalizer, they might have had a shot at getting something out of this game.

45′ — Rubio slides in at the back post for 2-1 — Graham Zusi, who’s #actually a fine right back in the right system, carries the ball roughly 50 yards here, before sliding it wide to Fernandes, who plays it across goal for Rubio to poke it home.

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Man of the match: Gerso Fernandes

Goalscorers: Bunbury (4′), Fernandes (16′), Rubio (45′, 57′)

ATL’s Martinez bags first half hat trick, Revs have two sent off (video)

Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
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Who needs an MLS Snapshot when a score line reads 4-0 at halftime and the home team finishes the first 45 minutes up two men.

That’s right, two.

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The New England Revolution, with their playoff lives hanging in the balance, allowed a hat trick to Atlanta United’s Josef Martinez and a fourth goal to on-loan Spurs man Anton Walkes in the first half at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Georgia.

They went on to lose 7-0, as Hector Villalba, Kevin Kratz, and Yamil Asad scored in the second half.

Martinez, 24, arrived in Atlanta from Torino before the season. The Venezuelan now has 13 goals and an assist in 13 MLS matches.

As if a four-deep hole wasn’t enough of an obstacle, New England saw two players sent off via VAR: Xavier Kouassi and Antonio Mlinar Delamea.

Kouassi saw straight red for a foul upon video review, while Delamea picked up his for DOGSO on Martinez’s penalty. It was 1-0 when Kouassi was sent off and 2-0 when Delamea left the match.

Enjoy this while you can, because scouts abroad will be salivating at the prospect of Atlanta’s Martinez and teammates Hector Villalba and Miguel Almiron.

MLS Snapshot: Kamara records first MLS hat-trick; Fire beat Impact

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The game in 100 words (or less): It’s been an up and down year for the New England Revolution, but Saturday night’s win could help spark a playoff push for Jay Heaps and Co. Kei Kamara recorded his first career MLS hat-trick in the 4-0 win for the Revs against Orlando City, while Lee Nguyen assisted on all four goals. The Lions have now allowed 43 goals this season, the second most in the Eastern Conference, while the team’s offense continues to struggle.

Three moments that mattered

75′ — Close your eyes, Orlando fans — Kamara looks like he’s just toying with the Lions defense tonight.

89′ — Kamara gets his hat-trick — The veteran MLS striker finally has his first career hat-trick in the league, and what a performance it was.

90+2′ — Bunbury adds to the misery — It just hasn’t been Orlando’s year on the defensive side of things…

Man of the match: Kei Kamara

Goalscorers: Kei Kamara (26′, 75′, 89′), Teal Bunbury (90+2′)


The game in 100 words (or less): Simply put, the Fire needed a win. It didn’t matter how it came or what the scoreline was. Bastian Schweinsteiger ensured that victory would come on Saturday night in Montreal when the German netted his third goal of the season for the Fire. The victory gives Veljko Paunovic’s side 44 points on the year, which is good enough for third place in the Eastern Conference, while the Impact remain in seventh place in the East.

Three two one moment that mattered

59′ — The Fire take the lead, don’t relinquish it — Matt Polster makes a great run, and Bastian Schweinsteiger didn’t make any mistakes with his finish. Much needed goal for the Fire.

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Man of the match: Bastian Schweinsteiger

Goalscorer: Bastian Schweinsteiger (59′)

MLS: ATL leave it late in PHI; NE’s playoff hopes die in DC

Atlanta United / Twitter: @ATLUTD
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Philadelphia Union 2-2 Atlanta United

The game in 100 words (or less): Atlanta United’s defense, the expansion side’s achilles heel all season long, lapsed for no more than five minutes against the Philadelphia Union, and Tata Martino’s side struggled to a 2-2 draw which might ultimately cost them dearly in the playoffs race. With a chance to distance themselves from the Montreal Impact for sixth in the Eastern Conference, and set themselves up beautifully as the home-heavy portion of their schedule approaches, those five minutes cost Atlanta a pair of points against a 10-man Union side (Josh Yaro, 52nd minute) which held just 31 percent of possession on their home field. Roland Alberg and Alejandro Bedoya scored the Union’s goals, pulling Jim Curtin’s side to within three points of sixth place, while Atlanta remain a point back of Montreal (now level on games played, with 10 to go). Yamil Asad and Tyrone Mears blazed the comeback path for Atlanta.

[ MORE: Wednesday’s MLS roundup — TFC dominant; wild Texas derby ]

Three moments that mattered

18′ — Alberg gets behind, slots it past Guzan for 1-0 — Someone along the Atlanta backline lost track of… well, just about every attacker in the box. The lofted through ball fell to the chest of Alberg, and the Dutchman showed great composure at close range to collect and finish the chance.

23′ — Bedoya reacts quickest, makes it 2-0 — Alberg whipped the corner kick into the box, Jack Elliott headed it on at the near post, and Bedoya contorted his body to put his foot on the ball and double the lead.

26′ — Asad roofs it from a tough angle, and it’s 2-1 — It’s unclear whether or not Josef Martinez meant to head this ball an entire 90 degrees away from goal. In the end, it simply looks like a brilliant assist.

90+1′ — Mears heads home from distance — It’s an unlucky goal to give up, but one the whole of their 40-minute man advantage, Atlanta were deserving of their point.

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Man of the match: Roland Alberg

Goalscorers: Alberg (18′), Bedoya (23′), Asad (26′), Mears (90+1′)


D.C. United 1-0 New England Revolution

The game in 100 words (or less): Already seven points out of the playoff places in the East, losing to last-place D.C. United, 1-0 on Saturday, was almost surely the final nail in the Revolution’s coffin for the 2017 season. After winning three of four from mid-July to early August, the Revs have now lost back-to-back games to New York City FC and United. Luciano Acosta scored the game’s only goal, pulling Ben Olsen’s side to within a single point of the Revs in their bid to leave the East’s cellar..

[ MORE: Wednesday’s MLS roundup — TFC dominant; wild Texas derby ]

Three One moments that mattered

71′ — Acosta pokes home from close range — Lloyd Sam floated the ball into the box, Kofi Opare headed back across the face of goal, and Acosta was the only player make the far-post run, which made it oh so easy to beat Cody Cropper.

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Man of the match: Russell Canouse

Goalscorers: Acosta (71′)