Heaps, Revs shift focus to Montreal

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Jay Heaps is about as detail-oriented as they come when it comes to MLS coaches. But one thing the Revolution coach doesn't give much credence to -- at least publicly -- is the record of the next opponent.

Even after taking down the likes of first-place Seattle (5-0) or seventh-place Philadelphia (5-3) in consecutive weeks, you can bet that Heaps won't be overlooking the 1-6-4 (7 points) Montreal Impact, whom the Revolution face on Saturday at Stade Saputo.

"We're trying to win games," Heaps said after the team's 2-1 win over D.C. "Whoever was on the schedule tonight, we were going to give the same effort. You go into games, you have to prepare."

That preparation has certainly been key for the Revolution, who are riding a 6-0-1 unbeaten streak at the moment. Case in point: After losing to Houston, Philadelphia and D.C. earlier this season, the Revolution took the lessons learned from those defeats and applied them to beat all three in the rematches.

That preparation was especially evident in Saturday's 2-1 win over a resurgent D.C. squad. Last month, a then-listless D.C. handed the Revolution a humbling 2-0 loss that saw New England's offense stagnate in the second half. After watching the game film, Heaps made the necessary tactical tweaks ahead of last weekend's rematch.

Despite the fact that his side went 4-0-1 without 2013 Defender of the Year Jose Goncalves, who was sidelined with a calf injury last month, Heaps reinserted the center back and pushed Andrew Farrell back out wide. Not only did the move allow Goncalves to shadow the ever-dangerous Eddie Johnson, but it also allowed the Revolution greater width with Farrell back on the flank.

"I think it's more about the coaches, what we learned from the first game, how do we react to the next game we play them," Heaps said. "Are we better at how we assess the game? We lost 2-0 in D.C., what was our game plan coming in that game, and how do we change it so that we can be better tonight?"

It'll be interesting to see what kind of game plan Heaps employs against the Impact. In a sense, the challenge from the last-place Impact might actually be greater than the one recently posed by D.C.

Saturday's clash is the first between the two sides this season, and thus, Heaps and the coaching staff won't have the luxury of looking back at game film from an earlier showdown. What's more: The Impact feature noted Revolution nemesis Jack McInerney, who scored three game-winning goals against New England as a member of the Philadelphia Union between 2012 and 2013.

Whatever the circumstances may be, it's clear that Heaps expects to see the same mentality the Revolution carried into last weekend's match at Stade Saputo come Saturday.

"We knew we weren't going to be given anything [against D.C.]," Heaps said. "We had to go take it, and I think that's what I'm taking away from the game. We went out and found a way and that's what I'm most proud about."