FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – This year’s historically mild winter in the Northeast provided an unexpected benefit for the New England Revolution on Friday afternoon. While the club was originally scheduled only to train indoors during the current three-week period between trips to Arizona, warmer temperatures allowed the Revs to get outdoors for a scrimmage against Boston College on Friday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.
“When you draw up a home game on February 10, you don’t think it’s going to be outdoors,” head coach Jay Heaps said with a chuckle. “But it was good. It was nice for a little while. The temperature dropped at the end, but when you can get on the big field, you can really get game-like situations and it was really beneficial.”
Rookie midfielder Kelyn Rowe scored a pair of goals and Supplemental Draft selection Michael Roach – who is currently un-signed – added a late insurance strike as the Revs rolled to a 3-0 win over Boston College. A majority of the starting lineup played 70 minutes as the players continue to work towards match fitness with the regular-season opener now just one month away.
Heaps admits his side went through an adjustment period on Friday afternoon as they transitioned from the restricted confines of the Dana-Farber Field House onto the expansive stadium field, but once they settled into the surroundings, there were encouraging signs in their buildup play. Heaps would, however, like to see more quality in the final service.
“We were a little too on top of each other in midfield, (but we) opened it up,” said Heaps. “I think you could see some quality at the right times, but sometimes we failed ourselves because we didn’t deliver a great ball.”
While improvements are still necessary, the Revs can take positives from a match in which they found the back of the net on three occasions. Twice it was Rowe who provided the decisive finish with a pair of inch-perfect strikes, including one curling blast from 20 yards out.
“Kelyn is not afraid to shoot,” said Heaps. “When he has the opportunity, he takes it; and he should, because he has a heck of a boot on him … Those two shots were placed. They were both backdoor and they weren’t over-hit. They were perfectly, exactly where he wanted them to go.”