When the New England Revolution made a pre-season deal to acquire forward Teal Bunbury from Sporting KC, he could have been seen as the team's replacement for Juan Agudelo, who left to play overseas when he was out of contract. It may be semantics, but head coach Jay Heaps doesn't see Bunbury as a replacement.
"It's not one guy replacing another. I think positionally they'll be in the same spot, but they're different players," said head coach Jay Heaps. "I think Teal has great hold-up play, can finish, but has an excellent pace -- can also get behind [defenders] -- where I think Juan, his feet were really good and he kept everything in front of him and showed that he could score some excellent goals."
Heaps added Bunbury has a good understanding of his off-the-ball responsibilities in New England's system. When it comes to his style with the ball, his own style will show through.
"He's hungry to be Teal Bunbury, and I think he's going to make an impact this year."
Agudelo scored seven times for New England in 14 games during the 2013 campaign. Bunbury was held goal-less in 2013 after coming back from a torn ACL, but had a career-high 9 goals in 2011.
"I think they're very similar in the fact that they're true forwards; they always want the ball and they always want to shoot and score," said midfielder Kelyn Rowe. "I think Juan did it very well last year -- and I think he's still doing it well -- and I think Teal's learning our system and really starting to mesh with the players."
Second-year back Andrew Farrell sees a difference in his new teammate from Agudelo.
"I think he's more athletic. I think he's a lot faster."