As the 2016 MLS season edges closer, we’ll be publishing each team’s MLS 2016 Season Preview. Today we take a look at what New England Revolution will be striving for this season.
New England Revolution will be disappointed with the way the 2015 season went, considering they were runners-up in the 2014 MLS Cup Final. 2015 marked a drastic drop in performance despite strengthening their squad with the addition of Juan Agudelo. The highlight of last term was the six-game win streak from the beginning of August through to the middle of September. However, the five-game losing streak in June through to July balanced that out to make it a rather average season. With only one win in their final five matches they also failed to finish strongly and they will need to turn things around quickly in 2016 to ensure they remain competitive at the very top of the Eastern Conference.
Last season’s finish:
Eastern Conference – Position: 5th – P34 – W14 – D8 – L12
What needs to change this year?
It sounds so simple, but they will need to score more goals and stop conceding so many if they are to improve this year. On various occasions last term they failed to have the clinicism needed to see out games and that is something that needs addressing this year. On the defensive side of the ball, they shipped a total of 35 goals away from home compared to just 12 at Gillette Stadium, which speaks volumes for their defensive performances in front of their own fans. But their poor away form negates the good work of that home form. Consistency is key in every aspect of football and a more consistent Revs team may surpass expectations this term. They will need to adapt to the loss of Jermaine Jones and doing so quickly will dictate how they perform in 2016.
Key changes to squad:
Ins: Sambinha – Defender, Jordan McCrary – Defender, Xavier Kouassi – Midfielder & Gershon Koffie – Midfielder
Outs: Trevor Spangenberg – Goalkeeper, Kevin Alston – Defender, Jeremy Hall – Defender, Timi Mulgrew – Midfielder, Tyler Rudy – Midfielder, Jermaine Jones – Midfielder, Andy Dorman –Midfielder & Sean Okoli – Forward
Lee Nguyen – Midfielder – USMNT international Nguyen was the most creative player for the Revs once again last season, despite failing to match his fine numbers from the 2014 campaign, and we’re expecting another influential season this year. The loss of Jermaine Jones will affect him the most as it means he may have to drop deeper to receive the ball but his effortless poise on the ball should see New England remain dangerous in the final third regardless. He is one of league’s most creative playmakers and needs to continue to be a catalyst for the Revolution.
One to Watch:
Diego Fagundez – Midfielder – Young midfielder Fagundez is yet to make a major impact on MLS, despite impressing over the past few seasons. He has a lot of potential going forward and will hope to feature more as a starter this year as opposed to having to settle for substitute appearances. He’s been with the Revs since 2011, after signing a professional contract from their academy, so it’s time he made his mark in the team. He’s entering his sixth MLS campaign but is remarkably still just 21 years of age.
Eastern Conference – 8th – The Revs have lost one of their key men in Jermaine Jones and will find it hard to bounce back from such a loss this term. Their late season form last season might be a glimpse of what is to come with a tougher spell for the franchise possibly on the way. We expect them to endure a tough transitional year, with a playoff push perhaps out of reach. Jay Heaps is a great coach, however, and he will be doing all he can to ensure New England Revolution remain competitive in 2016.
What are you expecting from New England Revolution in 2016?