BRADENTON, Fla. – The very first day he was announced as the New England Revolution’s head coach back in November 2011, Jay Heaps vowed to create a culture in which the Revs outwork, outthink and out-prepare their opponents.
Heaps reiterated that desire prior to his second season in charge, saying that a daily work ethic remained one of the strongest tenets to success, “but with thoughtful process behind it by making sure that we prepare and by making sure that we’re ready for every game.”
Through his first two seasons at the helm, Heaps has followed through on his promise to turn the Revs into one of the most prepared sides in MLS, thanks in large part to the help of Match Analysis.
Match Analysis describes itself as “the leading pioneer in high performance analytical tools for soccer,” providing partner clubs with such tools as video indexing and archiving, statistical analysis, live data collection, player tracking, fitness reports and performance analysis.
It was announced on Thursday that the Revs have extended their agreement with Match Analysis, which is great news for Heaps and the Revolution’s coaching staff.
“Match Analysis is crucial to everything we want to do as a team,” Heaps said. “There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not on Match Analysis going through the things that we as a team need to get better at, but also in preparation for the teams we’re playing against.”
Heaps uses the tools provided by Match Analysis for all aspects of preparation. Scouting tools are implemented before a match to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of opponents, allowing the Revs to prepare for them in the buildup. Post-match reports are used to evaluate the Revolution’s own performance, both individually and as a team, to be used as teaching moments moving forward.
The Revs even use Match Analysis reports to analyze individual players on other teams when potential trades are in the works, expanding the scope of the program far beyond match preparation.
“It has the ability to cover almost everything we need to do within MLS,” Heaps said. “We have additional scouting for outside MLS, internationally, but within MLS, Match Analysis is without question the best resource we have.”
In an age of rapidly expanding technology, the Revolution’s goal is not to merely keep up with the pack, but to lead it. Innovation carries both risk and reward, and the Revs are willing to put themselves at the forefront should it provide even the slightest advantage on the playing field.
“When new software comes out, we’re privy to it; we’re ahead of the curve on that,” said Heaps. “[Match Analysis] is a very user-friendly program for a coaching staff, but at the same time, it has a lot of depth and a lot of levels to continue to get more and more information on other teams and our own team. We use it as best we can.”