Good goalie competition leading up to Revs season opener

Good goalie competition leading up to Revs season opener
March 5, 2013, 6:15 pm
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FOXBORO -- They'll tell you it's a good problem to have.

The 37-year-old Matt Reis will tell you that. So will the 25-year-old Bobby Shuttleworth.

Both are looking to be the New England Revolution's No. 1 goalkeeper. And both are saying all the right things.

That's not to say they don't mean what's coming out of their mouths. Their body language tells you it's true. They are okay with a goalkeeper competition.

And that's exactly what it is, entering Saturday's season-opener in Chicago.

"I think they've had a really good competition," said Revolution coach Jay Heaps on Tuesday. "I think that we saw that at the end of last year, Bobby And Matt really pushing each other. And they've had a spirited battle.

"We know in our mind. I think we're at the point where we'll probably announce the starter soon, but I don't want to do that right now."

Having to sit out the season-opener on national television would most likely be tougher on Reis.

Should the veteran get the starting nod, Reis will claim sole possession of fourth place on MLS' career starts list for goalkeepers (277). He'll also tie for fourth place on the MLS' career appearances list for goalkeepers (282).

"Like with the rest of the team, we've just tried to make it as competitive as possible," said Reis on Tuesday. "With Bobby and myself pushing each other, it's only going to be good for the team.

"It helps," added Reis. "It keeps you on your toes. It doesn't let you be complacent. Going into each week, you're trying to play your best, and give the coach a tough situation to make the choice as difficult as possible."

And perhaps it will be most difficult on Heaps, who Reis could also tie for second place on the Revolution's career appearances list with 243, if he gets the start.

"Part of having Reis here is because of that experience and his knowledge of the game, his relationship with the players in the locker room," said Heaps. "He dove all in on the opportunity to compete every day. We're pushing his game as well he's pushing Bobby's game.

"There's been a good competition there. Goalkeepers are a unique breed of guys. We call it 'the goalkeeper union.' They kind of do their own stuff sometimes. But it's good for them. And I like the way that's shaking out."