SuperDraft Quotes: Heaps

Reaction from Jay Heaps during the 2014 SuperDraft Press Availability

On picking up Steve Neumann …
Jay Heaps (JH): We followed his career quite a bit, actually. We’re always trying to add players that we think are creative and can help our attack and can also play a couple different positions.

About the transition into MLS from college
JH: There’s always the talk about the speed of play, but it’s also a soccer intelligence. I think every player playing professionally has a pretty high soccer IQ and the really good ones separate themselves. I think in college you can get by on certain athleticism, but when you step to the pro game there has to be that elevated IQ

Overall impressions of first two picks …
JH: They’re both players that we followed and we’ve had an eye on for not just one year but a couple years. I’ve seen them play live a lot and I think they’re very different players. I think Patrick has shown he’s someone that can score a lot of goals and plays a little higher up the field. I think Steve is more of an underneath guy and a little more versatile as to where we can play him in our midfield.

Was there discussion on taking Patrick Mullins with your first pick?
JH: We consider all of it and we’re just happy that we got both of them.

About trading up to ensure getting Mullins …
JH: I think we rated both players very highly. I think you have to be aggressive I think we showed that today that we’re aggressive. It’s not always laid out there in front for you so sometimes you have to be aggressive.

Talk about both guys having the potential to fit the Revolution style of play …
JH: I think both of them are smart players. Both of them are fluid players and both are going to have to work hard. I think that’s something we value.

The Revs have a young core of players already. Is there a risk/reward factor of having such a potentially young team up top?
JH: I feel that we have some veteran players on our team that are going to help carry some of the load up top as well.  We have Charlie Davies, we have Jerry Bengtson and Dimitry Imbongo. It’s not just about starting players that are young; we’re going to start the best players.

What are some of the off -field qualities of both players?
JH: We interview a good handful of players and certainly almost everyone we draft. We feel it’s very important to see those characteristics and qualities that the person has, not in an awful situation but just to really talk through things in their lives: strengths, weaknesses both on the field and off the field. We like character guys and feel our team is built up of character guys and we continue to look for players like that.

Talk about how these guys will fit in with your team?
JH: It’s important, especially when you’re asking a lot of young guys and. It’s never going to be an easy adjustment as you’re going to have ups and downs. You try and discuss that with the players and see how they’re going to react to situations in their life and it’s an important part of the process for us.

Was Neumann going to another team when you traded up earlier this week to get to No. 4?
JH: We weren’t thinking about what other teams were going to do so to speak. With Neumann, for me the versatility is what showed, and what he did in college. I think he’s a different style player and someone that will fit into different positions that we peg him for.

On how both guys will be utilized
JH: I was thinking about it last night.

Did you get what you need out of this draft?
JH: Can you get 15 wins out of this draft, because that’s what I was hoping to get. We’ll see.