Report: Revs' Heaps becomes fifth MLS coaching casualty

Jay Heaps became the fifth MLS head coach to lose his job this season -- a league record for one season -- when the New England Revolution relieved him of his duties. Goal.com's Ives Galarcep first reported the story, and it was followed by other media reports, citing sources.



Curse of Video Review. The decision followed a week during which the Revs lost twice by a combined margin of 10-1. They had two players -- Xavier Kouassi and Antonio Mlinar -- sent off in the first half for red cards issued after Video Review and lost to Atlanta United, 7-0, becoming the first MLS team ever to fail to get off a shot. On Saturday, New England fell at Sporting Kansas City, 3-1.

Soehn in charge for third time. Revs assistant Tom Soehn will finish the 2017 season as the Revs' interim coach. This is his second stint as an interim coach, having finished up the Vancouver Whitecaps' first season in 2011. Before that, he was the D.C. United head coach for three seasons with a 36-30-24 record.

Downward spiral. Heaps was the third longest-tenured coach in MLS behind Sporting KC's Peter Vermes (hired in 2009) and D.C. United's Ben Olsen (hired in 2010). He took over in 2012 from Steve Nicol, who had coached the Revs for almost 10 years and led them to MLS Cup in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

The Revs went 9-17-8 in Heaps' first season but improved to 14-11-9 in his second season, and he led New England to MLS Cup 2014, where it lost to the LA Galaxy, 2-1, in overtime. It marked the fifth time the Revs lost in the MLS championship game.

New England lost in the Knockout Round in 2015 and didn't make the playoffs in 2016. The losses at Atlanta and Kansas City dropped the Revs' current record to 10-14-5. They are 10-2-2 at home but are the only MLS team without a victory on the road this season with a 0-12-3 record. They are eighth in the Eastern Conference standings but trail the six-place New York Red Bulls, who have played one less game, by seven points with five games to play.

Most changes in a season.
Never before have so many MLS head coaches been replaced during a season. Until now, the record for most coaching changes was four in 1998 and 1999 when MLS had only 12 teams. The first two moves of 2017 have had their effect as Real Salt and San Jose sit in fifth and sixth place in the Western Conference, respectively, albeit with more games played than Houston and FC Dallas right below them.

2017 MLS coaching changes:
Real Salt Lake: Jeff Cassar --> Mike Petke.
San Jose: Dominic Kinnear --> Chris Leitch.
LA Galaxy: Curt Onalfo -- Sigi Schmid.
Colorado: Pablo Mastroeni --> Steve Cooke (interim).
New England: Jay Heaps --> Tom Soehn (interim).

Only one team has gone on to win MLS Cup after making a mid-season coaching change -- the Seattle Sounders in 2016. Nicol was handed the Revolution head coaching job after his second stint as interim coach when he led New England to the 2002 championship game it lost to the Galaxy.

Most mid-season ousters:
3 Curt Onalfo
2 Fernando Clavijo
2 Alfonso Mondelo
2 Thomas Rongen
2 Sigi Schmid
2 Frank Yallop

5 comments about "Report: Revs' Heaps becomes fifth MLS coaching casualty".
  1. Ben Myers, September 19, 2017 at 7:40 a.m.

    The Krafts share the blame for Revs mediocrity, as does Mike Burns. Awful playing style, many lackluster players who give their best. The Krafts are too much in love with Tom Brady and the Pats to spend any money on signing more respectable players for the Revs.

  2. :: SilverRey :: replied, September 19, 2017 at 9:42 a.m.

    Gotta feel bad for Heaps on this one.

  3. I w Nowozeniuk, September 19, 2017 at 10:21 a.m.

    The Revs are the perfect example of having too many mediocre players who possess physicality with a low Soccer IQ; the latter being prominent in most MLS clubs.

  4. Lona K replied, September 23, 2017 at 7:13 a.m.

    I agree 100% with I W Nowozeniuk that most MLS clubs have too many players with low soccer IQ and also individual skills. We are more about physicality and athleticism. It is only good till the age of 17 then true soccer players take over.

  5. Lona K, September 23, 2017 at 7:15 a.m.

    I hope the Revs give someone like John Harkes a chance. Not sure what happened with him at Cincinnati but he did put a very competitive team on the pitch in their first year of existence.

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