Updated: Feb 9
The Revs Look to Recapture Their 2021 Record-Setting Success After A Disappointing 2022 Campaign
Welcome to the 2023 MLSNowPodcast New England Revolution Season Preview, written by Revs on Both Coasts! Brothers Matt and Josh, though separated by 3,100 miles of contiguous United States, will be writing this blog in addition to their Quakes on Both Coasts, which covers the San Jose Earthquakes.
- Record: 10-12-12 (42 points/10th in East)
- Team Leader Goals: Gustavo Bou 8, Adam Buksa 7, Carles Gil 7
- Team Leader Assists: Carles Gil 14, Brandon Bye 7, DeJuan Jones 7
The Revs 2022 campaign could only be described as a complete disappointment. There were bright spots, including the addition of instant success GK Djordje Petrovic and promising showings from upcoming Revs II players Noel Buck, Esmir Bajraktarevic, Justin Rennicks, and Damien Rivera. On the other hand, Arena’s selections to compensate for former Revs Tajon Buchanan and Adam Buksa, Giacomo Vrioni and Dylan Borrero, were beset by injuries which stalled their efforts to fill in the gaping holes left by Buchanan and Buksa’s departures. The team also traded for Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, who arrived injured and never played a minute. Other teammates, including Brandon Bye, Henry Kessler, and Andrew Ferrell, spent time on the injured list. As a result, while wizard Carles Gil & Co. frequently moved the ball up to the box against just about any team, they found themselves on the outside looking in, unable to score like they had last season. Combined with a growing habit of conceding fouls in their defensive end that resulted in set pieces and PKs, few fans had much hope by September 1st that the Revs would be in the playoffs.
Manager and Sporting Director
Bruce Arena (5th season)
Additions to the Senior Roster
Additions include NE Revs Academy products Esmir Bajraktarevic (F) and Noel Buck (M), Latif Blessing (F, formerly on LAFC), Christian Makoun (D), David Romney (D), Bobby Wood (F), and Jack Panayotou (M).
Players not on the roster this year
Defender AJ DeLaGarza (retired), GK Brad Knighton (retired), Wilfrid Kaptoum (M), Edward Kizza (F). Supersub Ema Boateng has been practicing with the Revs without a contract. I hope the team will soon announce they’ve come to terms and signed him.
Expectations are high for this team this season, which is a good thing. Will Vrioni and Borrero finally be able to show fans why Arena signed them this year? Will Dejuan Jones, recently logging his first start for the USMNT, find his way to Europe this season? With the addition of David Romney, is there a logjam at defense, or simply the final piece to a brick wall in front of Petrovic? We’ll have to wait and see what Bruce is thinking in terms of defensive pieces. Speaking of Petrovic, will his soaring stock make a mid-season move to Europe a financial can’t-miss opportunity for the Revs? Fan faves like Nacho Gil and (hopefully) Ema Boateng will be back, and there are glimmerings of a bumper crop of talent coming up from the Revs II. Right behind them are Revs II players Malcolm Fry, Brandonn Bueno, and Santiago Suarez. With all of this promise, the pressure is on the coaching staff to put the pieces together successfully for a strong season that takes them into the playoffs.
Also of note, there have been changes in the staff, which Arena hinted was in response to the injury management and the resulting amount of time players lost to injury in the 2022 campaign. The Revs are also training in Florida in 2023 for the first time since 2019. This could be to improve overall fitness in Florida’s famous heat and humidity as well as get more experience playing against Eastern Conference opponents.
Projected Lineup for Season Opener Against Charlotte
Projected Starting XI Picture against Charlotte is a 4-3-3. GK - this one is obvious. Defense - injuries, minor and others, will determine the defense, which has an abundance of quality. A few different formations would be successful here, and after the first minutes of the game Arena could have the team quickly shift, moving Carles Gil and Dejuan Jones up one slot to create a 3-3-3-1. Midfield - Surround Carles Gil with the strong midfield presence of Macnamara and Polster. Forward - I am looking forward to seeing what a trio of Borrero, Blessing, and Vrioni could bring.
Charlotte is going to come into this game hyped up and ready to control their home opener from the start. In their second season now, Charlotte FC fans and players alike won’t be content to show up and wave flags. They want wins and a postseason berth, and they want that to start in the first game. The Revolution will come in with the same goals, but hopefully with some patience as the first game of the season unfolds and the players test out their game legs. Charlotte will be a good test of the Revolution that will show the fans what to expect for at least the first half of the season.
Earl Edwards Jr.
Three Goals for the 2023 New England Revolution
Play your game and play it well. Don’t let the other team or the officiating get into your head. Teams figured out how to do this right at the end of the 2021 season and continued to do so, fairly effectively, in 2022.
Develop young players like Esmir, Panayotou, Spaulding, and Rivera.
Stop conceding fouls that result in set pieces and PKs. Petrovic bailed the team out better than anyone else in MLS could have last year, but relying on him to bail out poor decision making is not going to get this team deep into the playoffs.
The Revs have so much promise this year - see you either on AppleTV or at The Fort, and follow us on Twitter at @RevsCoasts!
Revs on Both Coasts