FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Lee Nguyen’s suspension left New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps with a big decision to make as he searched for a central midfield replacement ahead of Saturday night’s must-win meeting with the Columbus Crew.
In Andy Dorman, it’s safe to say Heaps made the right call.
Dorman played a part in all three of the Revolution’s goals and was an ever-present force in the center of the park as the Revs secured a vital 3-2 win to set up a grandstand finish next weekend.
“Gigantic,” Heaps said when asked to describe Dorman’s performance. “I wish I could say more. There’s so much to say about him, because he works so hard. He won everything in the air that he could get his head to and he controlled the middle.
“To me, it showed that he was a player that wanted to ‘will’ it. And he was the one who got the game-winning assist, which was a great play.”
After playing a more indirect role in the first two goals – winning the free kick which led to A.J. Soares’ opener and drawing the penalty which Chris Tierney converted – Dorman put his name on the score sheet in the 76th minute when he laid a perfect pass into the path of Diego Fagundez for a simple finish.
It was a fitting reward for Dorman on a night when he made just his second regular-season start of 2013 and his first since April 20.
“I’m just glad I got the opportunity today, but it’s more important that we got the three points than anything else,” Dorman said. “It’s about the team and us making the playoffs and that’s one step. We’ve got another big step next week.”
Precisely which scenario the Revs will face next Sunday afternoon when they visit Crew Stadium is still to be determined by other results, but after 33 games, it will come down to the final weekend.
Nguyen will be eligible to return from suspension for that match, but in Dorman, Heaps has yet another reliable option in pressure situations.
“Tonight, you felt very comfortable with Andy Dorman out there,” Heaps said.