Can Revs add some O to D vs. FC Dallas?

March, 29, 2013
3/29/13
9:19
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Following last weekend's anticlimactic 0-0 draw versus Sporting K.C., Revolution center back AJ Soares succinctly, and unapologetically, tweeted, "clean sheet."

Sure, posting a shutout against one of the most talented teams in the league could be viewed as a moral victory of sorts. The kind an MLS center back could justifiably hang his hat on -- or tweet about, for that matter.

Yet, even though the record will show that the Revs failed to win their home opener for the first time in seven years, Soares says the defense-first approach won't change with high-flying FC Dallas in town this weekend.

"I just want to go out there and put up another zero up defensively and try and create something a little bit more offensively," Soares said after training on Wednesday. "I think we're going to improve a little bit going into this next game and we're going out there to get three points."

The Revolution will certainly need to improve on the attacking end if they're going to get the win this weekend.

Dallas currently sits at the top of the Western Conference table thanks a dynamic offense that features six different goal-scorers through their first four games.

Although it's still early, Dallas has already claimed victories against two of the league's strongest clubs in Real Salt Lake and Houston. What's more, they're doing it in convincing fashion.

"They're playing well right now," Revolution head coach Jay Heaps said after training on Wednesday. "They're scoring goals and they're winning games [and] they're finding ways to win games."

And Dallas isn't particularly picky about how they score, either. They've already struck from set pieces, against the run of play, and aren't afraid to salvage a cheap one, either, as evidenced by Jackson's 81st-minute theft of Josh Saunders last week against Real Salt Lake.

To make things difficult for Saturday's opponents, Heaps wants his players to study up and see what the likes of David Ferreira, Fabian Castillo and Kenny Cooper do to put points on the scoreboard.

"There's got to be the proper matchup," Heaps said. "We have to make sure that we're aware of the key guys. It's just a matter of knowing your opponent."

Of course, identifying the playmakers and shutting down Dallas' attack is only half the battle. After all, the prospect of another scoreless draw in front of the home supporters won't sit well in the Revolution locker room.

To that end, Heaps wants to see his players pressing the issue forward, especially with Dallas' penchant for giving up the occasional easy goal.

"It's about getting more guys in the box," Heaps said. "[We need] more runners [and] more of a commitment to getting into the box. The sharpness has to be there so guys will want to make the run. That's where there has to be more of a commitment to getting into the box."

That commitment should be more pronounced with Jerry Bengtson back from a set of World Cup Qualifiers. Yet, given the Honduran's recent schedule, it's unknown how many minutes Heaps can expect from him.

Nevertheless, Soares expects the defense to rise to the occasion again, and doesn't appear too concerned about the need for breaking the bank against Dallas' grab-and-stash attack.

"Some teams want to score a lot of goals and win games 4-2," Soares said. "Some teams like to win 1-0. As long as we get three points, I really don't care how we do it."

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