FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – For the first time this season, a bye weekend has arrived at a beneficial time for the New England Revolution.
The Revs had a pair of byes within the season’s first month – Week 1 and Week 6 – well before the players required the physical and mental rest off weekends typically provide.
But after playing 13 games in the past two months – approximately one game every five days – and with a two-game road trip to face D.C. United and Chivas USA looming next week, the Revs stand to benefit from an off weekend and a chance to recharge.
“We need a little bit of a break,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “It’s good for guys to mentally take a moment. Then we turn around really quickly with the Open Cup on Wednesday. We’re going to train hard this week, prepare ourselves, get one or two days to take a break mentally, but be back physically on Monday.”
The Revs will train through this week before taking the weekend off, with the hope that everyone returns fresh and ready to push forward on Monday. It’s only a weekend away, but Heaps believes that’s the ideal amount of time for a quick respite in the middle of the season.
“I remember as a player, one or two days is really adequate to just get away and then get back into it, because you’re anxious to get back into the game,” he said. “When you take too much time off, you lose a little bit of that focus. One or two days is perfect.”
Tuesday night’s Soccer Revolution event to benefit the Newtown Parent Connection featured a 60-minute game against PDL affiliate Real Boston Rams, giving some players the chance to continue to stay sharp in a game situation. The Revs claimed a 2-1 win behind goals from A.J. Soares and Dimitry Imbongo.
But even for those players who didn’t see action in New Britain, Conn., their focus needs to remain on point throughout the bye weekend, even as they take a well-deserved rest.
“It’s a good time to get some rest, but we have to make sure we don’t take a break,” said Scott Caldwell. “We actually have to continue to think about [soccer] and continue to play this week and next week in training so that we’re still sharp for the next game.”