Andy Dorman's veteran presence could be a major factor against Houston

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – If the New England Revolution are looking for an x-factor in Saturday’s match versus the Houston Dynamo, they may look no further than the steadying presence of Andy Dorman.

The veteran holding midfielder, who did not play when the two teams met in the season opener, has been a fixture in the starting eleven over the past four weeks, helping to solidify the club from the back line up through the middle third of the field

“I think Andy’s really played well for us,” said coach Jay Heaps to MLSsoccer.com on Friday. “He’s doing a nice job defensively, but also keeping defenders honest because he’s spreading the ball, and he can serve balls over distance.”

Dorman’s ability to spread the ball may be what ultimately springs an offense that is hungry to score in bunches.

He commands the middle third by using a patient approach that allows for the Revolution to get a proper pace settled, and with an 84% success rate on his passes, Dorman distributes at the right times.

“Andy has the ability to play short, he’s technical enough,” said Heaps. “He also has the ability to spread the ball out. I think that’s important to be able to unlock defenses.”

To be able to unravel Houston on Saturday, Dorman and his mates are taking some “how not to” lessons from their loss a week ago against D.C. United. 

“We went a little bit too direct, for us that was disappointing,” Dorman told MLSSoccer.com prior to Friday’s training session. “As far as I’m concerned, I have to make sure that doesn’t happen. We’ve got to try and play out a little bit more and build up to the attack to give our players the best chance to succeed going forward.”

That type of calm, measured authority is what Heaps needs on the field and he knows that on a young team, a player like Dorman can make all the difference.

“I think Andy continues to be an important piece for us,” Heaps added. “His presence will be important on Saturday.”