Paul Mariner and Brad Feldman discussed the strengths and challenges as the New England Revolution transitions to playing the 4-4-2 formation.
Mariner loves what the formation will bring to the Revs -- he's especially excited to see the number of runners in the box.
"You've got to put the system together that's going to suit the players," Mariner said. "And I just feel that the way [Revolution coach] Jay [Heaps] has put this system together with the players -- I think it's perfect for them. They've got the protection in front of the two central defenders -- absolutely ideal. The only way that this shouldn't get it done is if they're flat and it's that long ball -- it's like that Leicester City ball over the top for the likes of [Jamie] Vardy. That won't happen."
"But the beauty about this system is this is a very attacking system," he said. "When you're in posession of the ball, you've always got to think about what happens if it breaks down. That's what Jay will be drilling into the boys. Yes, it's going to be beautiful going forward, but when they lose it, it's absolutely key that they pick up in the right areas."
Mariner explained "it's going to be a nightmare" for the opposition.
Tom Soehn will take over as interim coach of the New England Revolution for the remaining five matches of the MLS season after the team confirmed the firing of Jay Heaps with an announcement on Tuesday.
Ives Galarcep of Goal USA was first to report Heaps’ firing on Monday.
The decision to move on from Heaps comes after two back-to-back losses, one of which was a 7-0 defeat at the hands of Atlanta United. New England is 10-14-5 and in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The Revs next play Saturday at 5 p.m. against Toronto FC at Gillette Stadium.
Heaps had been the Revs head coach since 2011, the longest tenure in team history, and was 75-81-43 in the regular season. He also led the Revs to the MLS Cup Final in 2014 where they lost to the LA Galaxy.
“Jay has done a great deal for the club over the years and had considerable achievements. I have great respect for him and wish him well in the next steps of his career,” said Revs general manager Michael Burns. “This decision has not been taken lightly, however, we need to do better than the results have shown from the last couple of seasons and this season left us convinced we need to go in a different direction.”
Heaps has been a central figure in 15 of the Revolution's 22 seasons in MLS, including nine years as a defender for the team from 2001-09. He played a part in all five of the Revolution's Eastern Conference championships, four as a player, and helped lead them to the U.S. Open Cup Final on three occasions, including the club's victory in 2007.
“Jay gave the club his all as a player and coach, and we are thankful to him for all his passion and hard work,” said Revs team president Brian Bilello. “We will always be grateful for his efforts in bringing us back to both an MLS Cup final and a U.S. Open Cup Final and wish nothing but the best for him moving forward.”
Soehn was in his fourth season as an assistant coach after joining Heaps’ staff in January 2014. Soehn has been an MLS player, assistant coach, head coach, and team executive. He began his pro playing career in 1988 and has 13 years of MLS coaching experience as both a head coach and assistant, including three seasons with the Chicago Fire and six seasons with D.C. United.
The New England Revolution have fired head coach Jay Heaps, according to Ives Galarcep of Goal USA.
The decision to move on from Heaps comes after two straight losses, one of which was a 7-0 defeat at the hands of Atlanta United.
Heaps has been the Revs head coach since 2011 and compiled a 75-81-43 regular season record. He also led them to the MLS Cup Final in 2014 where they lost to the LA Galaxy.
The Revs are currently 10-14-5 with five games remaining in the season. Galarcep says there is "no word yet" on who will replace Heaps.
Heaps played for the organization from 2001-2009.