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Revolution looking towards the future

Nick Silveira

Anchor Staff Writer

Image via Pexels

The New England Revolution finished out their home slate of games this campaign on Saturday with a 2-1 win over Atlanta United. An 85th minute goal scored by fan favorite forward Gustavo Bou decided the game. This latest win brings their record to 10 wins, 11 draws and 12 losses – good enough for only 10th place in the Eastern Conference of the MLS, but not good enough for a playoff spot. Their last remaining game will be away against the Chicago Fire on Oct. 9th. Despite the lackluster end of season result, many positives can be taken from this game. Head Coach Bruce Arena reached 250 wins with this latest victory, and forward Giacomo Vrioni secured his first goal in his first start for the club.

Their current record doesn't reflect expectations both fans and the team had to start off this season. Several key signings were thought to be what the New England Revolution needed – causing said high expectations. After all, the team finished last year’s campaign with their highest point total ever recorded: 73. This was after securing 22 wins, seven draws and only five losses – good enough for first place in the Eastern Conference of the MLS. Their celebration was short lived however, as they lost in the first round to New York City FC on penalties.

The Revolution coaching staff and front office were out to prove that 2021 was not just a fluke year, and so several key signings were made, including well known USMNT players such as Midfielder Sebestian Lletget, forward Jozy Altidore and Center Back Omar Gonazalez. They also used their 24th overall selection in the MLS SuperDraft to bring in goalkeeper Jacob Jackson, who was a three-year starter at Loyola Marymount prior to the draft.

The club sought to use these reinforcements to replace several key departures including former MLS All-Star caliber goalie Matt Turner, who finalized a transfer move to legendary English Club Arsenal before the start of the 2022 MLS season. Turner was on the radar of several European clubs for several years before finally deciding on London as his destination. Another key player looking to be replaced was forward Adam Buksa. Arguably the Revolution’s best striker last season, Buksa secured a transfer to French Ligue 1 side RC Lens before the start of the new campaign with his impressive stats and performance during last season.

Unfortunately, none of the signings previously mentioned lived up to expectations. Both Lletget and Altidore eventually left the club during this season. Lletget eventually found his way back to the Revolution shortly after via a trade between New England and FC Dallas. Lletget, like Gonzalez and Jackson, couldn’t secure a consistent spot in the starting 11.

One bright spot in an otherwise lackluster team has been new goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic. Signed in April at the start of the season, Petrovic is arguably the only signing who has not only lived up to expectations, but actually exceeded them. Petrovic was just named 2022 Team MVP after, so far, securing seven clean sheets, and single handedly keeping the Revolution competitive in several games over the course of this season. Several gaping holes in the team, especially in their defense, weren’t as glaring of a problem due to Petrovic’s heroics this season.

The club now looks to next season and hopes to see improvements. This team was disappointing in the eyes of many fans, but several players are giving supporters hope that brighter days are coming. This includes not only Petrovic, but also forwards Bou and Vrioni, especially after the two’s performance in their most recent match. Fans of the Revolution are also excited to see how Nacho Gil, brother of team captain Carles Gil, will perform. It marks the first time the midfield tandem will have an entire offseason together to train and prepare, with Nacho being brought to the team late in this season.

Star power and reliability are apparent in attack, midfield and goalkeeping, but it’s the defense and substitutions bench that raises questions. Will the Revolution continue to rely on the heroics of players like Bou, Petrovic and the Gil Brothers? Or are we in store for a busy offseason like last year where the team seeks to build around their franchise cornerstones through signings and the draft?


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