New England Revolution 2014 Season Preview: Such Nice Boys…

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I think they actually have a year or two on the Revs.

How’d 2013 Treat ‘Em: 14-11-9 (W-L-T), 49 gf, 38 ga; 3rd in the East
So, ahead of New England’s visit to Portland last season, I emailed some friends a little scouting report on the Revolution. “Watch this guy,” I said. “He’s gonna be a problem.” (It was Kelyn Rowe for anyone who’s wondering.) Right on cue, New England turned in a mediocre game, but, oh my, darlin’ Clementine, was that team fun to watch last season! When they gave the eventual champs a taste of cold hell in the playoffs, asking what this bunch will do next year came pretty naturally. New England’s 2013 was incredible in a number of ways – e.g. one man (Goncalves) turning around a defense that was pretty shitty just the year before; an attack that swarmed from midfield at so many angles it was hard enough to keep straight while watching, never mind defending it; the average age on the team could very well be 12. Like I said, incredible. And fun. I’m totally looking forward to seeing more of these guys this year. (Full disclosure: so long as they lose to Portland and don’t ruin their ruin to glory, both New England and Colorado can win often as they like.)

Exciting Additions! – Patrick Mullins, Tean Bunbury, Daigo Kobayashi

Tricky Departures… – Juan Agudelo, Matt Reis

Quality Parts: Diego Fagundez, Andrew Farrell, Jose Goncalves, Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe

It Gets Better If They Come Good: Bunbury, Scott Caldwell, Charlie Davies, Daigo Kobayashi, Mullins, Saer Sene, Bobby Shuttleworth

What I’d Expect Based on the Above:
The more you like a club, the easier it is to tamp down doubts and expect everything to come off. To acknowledge the obvious, yes, this is a young team. When people ponder their potential undoing, the conversation turns the impetuousness of youth – e.g. whether these guys can keep their focus and play consistently with distractions like prom, homecoming, and that crazy-long summer vacation. All that falls under that generic hedge about “intangibles,” something no one can really predict, so I’ll leave those chips to fall. Losing Agudelo, though, looks like a big deal, though it’s tough to say how big. People thought they’d struggle when Saer Sene went down, but that panned our reasonably. While I’m not totally current on his status, it seems fair to assume that big goddamn train will roll again in 2014. Even if it’s hard to know how he’ll do (well, outside that great goal in preseason), New England also brought in Bunbury. Given that I want to believe, I’ll just assume this fixes the Agudelo thing. With a couple more interesting parts waiting in the wings (Mullins, Kobayashi…and, the other kid they drafted….uh, got it; Neumann), Revolution players should keep complacency at bay. I’ve heard rumblings about a pissed-off Goncalves and that certainly doesn’t bode well; the question is whether it’s fatal. I’ll just say, I hope not and leave it there. Put this team in the West and I’d be less sure about their progress. In the East, though, where the dog fight rages between poodles, I like New England’s chances. They’re a playoff team at least.

2014 Season Opener: @ Houston Dynamo, March 8

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: 2014 Major League Soccer Season Preview Spectaularrrrr! | The Next 5-Year Plan

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