FOXBOROUGH — The Revolution have lost their scoring touch in the last month. But the solution to their problems might have arrived in time for Sunday’s game against the Montreal Impact.
Jerry Bengtson, who scored three goals for Honduras in four games at the Olympics, is set to return for his first Revolution match since July 14. Bengtson has not been in a starting role for the Revolution, but he provided a spark with a goal in his debut game, a 2-0 victory over New York July 8.
The Revolution (6-11-5, 23 points) have gone 0-4-1 since then, scoring only twice.
“I thought his performance was good in the goal department,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said of Bengtson’s Olympic experience. “You realize where his strengths are. You get him the ball on crosses and shots, anywhere near the goal he’s just going to sniff something out. And we want to keep putting him in an area where he can sniff things out.”
The Revolution appeared to have revamped the team after a five-win total last season, surpassing that victory number after 17 matches this season. They appeared to hit a slump, then traded captain Shalrie Joseph to Chivas USA and waived Colombia forward Jose (Pepe) Moreno. With two foreign roster spots open, they could be seeking reinforcements.
“It’s natural in the course of a season, in the course of a career, you’re going to hit a slump,” Heaps said. “The most important thing is to keep a balance, figure out if we’re doing anything wrong.
“Tactically, are we doing anything wrong? Technically, are we doing anything wrong? And, then, from there, is it something emotional, is it how we approach the game?
“There are a lot of things to look at, but the key is not to overload, over-think — make sure we think confidently, we think positively. The most important thing is the guys on the field have to play and keep playing for four or five games, and that’s how you get out of your slump.”
Heaps hopes to improve the Revolution’s physical presence defensively and find space for midfielders Benny Feilhaber and Lee Nguyen.
“Our midfield, we want to interchange a little more,” Heaps said. “Teams are keying on Benny and Lee and they’re either fouling then and, if it’s not a foul, they’re getting a break.
“We have to change what we’re doing a little bit, the way we present them the ball, to open up spacing. And make sure we protect them.
“That’s important going forward — we’re on our home field, we protect our players. We have to get back to how we played a month or so ago, it was doing both, playing [physically and skillfully].
“We have to add a little physicality to it, no question about it. We’re getting some guys back from injury, Jerry is back.
“Sometimes a new face, a new personality in the locker room, can kind of excite you and get you going in the right direction.”