Revolution move on, not mourn

Friday, 13 October 2017, 07:03:16 PM. FOXBORO — If there is one group that can commiserate with the fallen U.S. men’s national team it is the Revolution.The local soccer entry entered the season with optimism and a renewed pledge to earn a postseason berth. For a variety of reasons, most notably a disparity between its 11-2-3 home record and 0-13-3 road ledger, that didn’t happen. Ultimately, it cost coach Jay Heaps his job.

FOXBORO — If there is one group that can commiserate with the fallen U.S. men’s national team it is the Revolution.

The local soccer entry entered the season with optimism and a renewed pledge to earn a postseason berth. For a variety of reasons, most notably a disparity between its 11-2-3 home record and 0-13-3 road ledger, that didn’t happen. Ultimately, it cost coach Jay Heaps his job.

Now, interim coach Tom Soehn and the players head into the final two games of the season with pride, and, quite possibly, job security, on the line. All parties have indicated an intent to give nothing but their best effort going forward.

“Well, there is a lot to play for, so just because we’re not in the playoffs doesn’t mean that jobs are not at stake,” veteran midfielder/defender Chris Tierney said. “Any time you step on the field in this league you have to put your best effort out there because you never know who’s watching. There’s plenty of guys on our team that have a lot to prove, including myself, so we’ll use the disappointment of this year as a motivation to prove that we’re capable players.’’

Tierney said the final two matches, which begin with Sunday’s home game with New York City FC, will be tests of character and will.

“Yeah, I think so,” he said. “The easy route to take would be just to roll over and say the season is over but that’s not our approach, especially at home. We want to have our fans there and we want to score goals for them. But, any time as a professional, when you step out there, you want to win the game.”

Tierney agreed the soccer world has gone topsy-turvy with countries like Iceland, the smallest populated nation ever to qualify for the World Cup, and others like the U.S. failing to advance.

“Very surprised. Obviously, it’s disappointing,’’ said Tierney. “It’s hard for me to say too much on it because I’ve never been involved with (the national team), but it’s difficult for me to offer insight into what it’s like for those guys. But, just as a fan of U.S. soccer, it’s got to be disappointing. I’ll have to watch the World Cup without having a team to root for.’’

Soehn said despite not having an MLS playoff berth to shoot for, the players adopted the correct attitude.

“The focus of the guys has still been right on par,” Soehn said. “We still have stuff to prove to ourselves. One is we probably have one of the best home records that we’ve ever had, so we want to continue that, and we’re playing against a real good New York team who has had success on the road.”

Soehn was anticipating the U.S. reaching the Word Cup, but isn’t ready to slam the door on the progress of the sport in this country.

“You’re always surprised because it’s almost become an expectation, but I feel for everybody involved because I felt it sitting at home watching it,” he said. “I felt the pain and agony of it, so I can only imagine what the staff and the players were feeling. I mean, everybody is hurting from it.

“But, one thing we’ve always been resilient on is you strive from coming out of disappointment and you do a better job. Everyone has to take a moment and grieve but, inevitably, I know that we’ll come out of this stronger.”

New York City FC (16-8-8) poses a challenge with David Villa (20 goals), Andrea Pirlo and Jack Harrison.

“Obviously, they have key guys that pull the strings for them,” Soehn said, “so it’s important that we have a good game plan that gets them out of their strengths and focus on what we can beat them with.’’

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    Article Revolution move on, not mourn compiled by www.bostonherald.com