Jay Heaps may not be on the bench this weekend following his ejection from last weekend’s match at D.C., but don't expect the Revolution to be lost without their head coach when they host Houston.
Heaps, whose attention to detail has been a hallmark of his coaching style, said he'll be just as focused on getting his squad and staff ready as he would for any game.
"It's business as usual,” Heaps said. “I think the team is (always) prepared and when we leave here on Friday, the team's ready to go.”
The third-year head coach said that he and his coaching staff often discuss gameday scenarios and substitution patterns before every game. Thus, he isn't all that concerned about handing the reins to assistant Tom Soehn, who'll serve as head coach on Saturday. But even though Heaps is confident that his team will be adequately prepared for the conference clash, he’s not looking forward to the idea of watching the game from afar. “It's not going to be good,” Heaps said. “I mean taking your medicine's never a good thing, and I think it's one of those situations where it is what it is.”
A rookie’s patience pays off
First-round pick Steve Neumann made his MLS debut in last weekend’s contest at D.C., and after a trying preseason, he’s not taking anything for granted.
Neumann, who came on in the 84th minute for Daigo Kobayashi, entered preseason camp carrying an ankle injury. As a result, he spent much of the winter rehabbing while the rest of the rookies were making their cases for playing time. "It was tough,” Neumann said. “Especially with it being my first year, and coming in right away and being injured and not being out there with the guys. But I just needed to stay patient and make sure I was resilient with my rehab.”
Patience was certainly key for Neumann while he recovered from his injured ankle. While many rookies are anxious to get on the pitch – sometimes to their own detriment – Neumann said that looking at the bigger picture helped put his mind at ease.
“I knew that it's a long season and I'd get back,” Neumann said. “It's all worked out pretty well."
Bunbury hasn't forgotten first clash with Houston
Revolution forward Teal Bunbury probably doesn’t give it much thought anymore, but rest assured, he hasn't erased thoughts of the 4-0 thrashing the squad took from Houston in the season opener six weeks ago.
But even though they'd like nothing more than to get the win in Saturday’s rematch, Bunbury doesn't believe that he and his teammates will be looking for payback once the opening whistle screeches.
"I don't know if it's revenge, but definitely we're not going to forget that first game,” Bunbury said. “But like I always say, we have to focus on ourselves. Our fans are going to be there, and it’s going to be another great opportunity to get a result at home."