Olympics 2012: New England Revolution's Jerry Bengtson Sinks Spanish Armada

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Olympics 2012: New England Revolution's Jerry Bengtson Sinks Spanish Armada
Stanley Chou/Getty Images

With two games down in the Olympic group play, there are a few subplots that have dominated news so far.

None is more striking than the demise of Spain.

With its emphatic 4-0 win in the final of Euro 2012, Spain had gone from strength to strength, winning three major international tournaments in a row.

And while its Olympic squad was mostly a 23-and-under roster, it still shocked the soccer world that one of the favorites will make an ignominious first-round departure.

 

The Man Who Fired the Shot Heard Around the Soccer World

Spain’s demise came at the hands of a Honduran team that proved equal parts tough and resilient, characteristic attributes of a team pulling an upset.

One man was of particular note, though, embodying the lonely nature of his underdog team, written off as it was surely was by the experts.

Jerry Bengtson, recently signed by the New England Revolution, took up the solemn duty as the lone striker in Honduras’ lineup.

And though a majority of his afternoon was spent in the thankless role of the sole player Honduran defenders and midfielders hoofed it to downfield, he had one very bright moment.

Seizing a driven cross, Bengtson hopped in front of his distinguished Spanish counterparts and headed the ball in, giving the Central Americans a shocking lead.

Stanley Chou/Getty Images

He continued his work rate until eventually being subbed, his job done.

 

Flying Under the Radar

Bengtson was not heralded much when he signed with the Revs. Certainly, most fans took notice, but with Saer Sene doing well, the Honduran wasn’t given much attention.

Of course, on his debut, Bengtson got a goal against New York, helping the team to a 2-0 win.

Even at the Olympics, he (much like his team) wasn’t really given that much attention before the Spain result.

And yet now, looking at the individual scoring statistics, it is not Giovani Dos Santos, nor Neymar or Oscar who are the leading the field.

It’s Jerry Bengtson. Tied with Moussa Konate of Senegal with three goals, Bengtson has been efficient in his finishing and relentless in his work for the team.

 

Going Forward

Following the Olympics (however they turn out for Honduras), Bengtson will return to New England for the lead-up to the playoffs.

Adding a striker with the quality of Bengtson could be the addition that manager Jay Heaps has been looking for.

Whether or not Bengtson and Sene can form an effective partnership remains to be seen. They’re both powerful forwards, so it could be a case of redundancy.

Also, will Heaps want to use two strikers or will he want to deploy more of a 4-2-3-1 with Sene or Bengtson working as the focal point of attacking midfielders?

In any event, it’s a refreshingly “good” problem for Revs fans to confront, as they seem to have quite the weapon waiting in the wings for post-Olympic play.

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