MLS Playoff Preview and Prediction: DC United vs New England Revolution

Competition: Major League Soccer Playoffs – DC United vs. New England Revolution

Venue: RFK Stadium – Wednesday, October 28 – 19:30 ET (23:30 GMT)

Match Odds: DC United 13/8 – Draw 9/4 – New England Revolution 13/8

Match Preview

DC United welcome New England Revolution to RFK Stadium in the first of the Eastern Conference playoff ties on Wednesday night as the two go head-to-head in the knockout round.

DC couldn’t have had a worse result heading into this game after they were thumped 5-0 by Columbus Crew on the final day of the regular season on Sunday.

The home side have won just two of their last five games, but as we know, knockout rounds see the form books chucked to one side.

DC need to come into this with a fresh approach and play the way they know they can. They won the second meeting between the sides in the regular season 2-1 back in June and can take confidence from that.

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Finishing 4th and subsequently earning home-field advantage has given DC a great chance of progressing into the next round of the playoffs. They need to make sure they come out of the blocks quickly and not give New England the upper hand early on in the game.

New England Revolution will be relieved to have made the playoffs after having to wait until the final day and will now be hoping to go one step further than last year and win the MLS Cup.

They come into this one off the back of their solid 3-1 win away at New York City FC, a result which put an end to a four-game winless run.

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The Revs failed to beat DC in the regular season, drawing the first meeting between the sides back in May before then, as previously mentioned, losing in June.

New England haven’t won at RFK Stadium since 2013, but will be feeling confident going into the game. They cannot, however, afford to let DC’s recent run of poor form make them complacent.

Team News

DC United have four injury concerns heading into this one. Eddie Johnson, Chris Korb, Davy Arnaud and Jared Jeffrey are all expect to miss out.

New England Revolution have just the one injury concern as Darrius Barnes looks set to miss out.

Key Points

DC United’s last five: L/L/W/W/L

New England Revolution’s last five: L/D/L/L/W

Key Stat: DC have only won two of their last six home games in the playoffs (W2 D3 L1).

Key Player: Charlie Davies – The Revs forward netted four times in last season’s playoff run. He played an influential role in their win over NYCFC on Sunday, with one assist and a goal and comes into the game in good form. His ten goals in the regular season make him his side’s top scorer for the campaign.

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Score Prediction

DC United 1-2 New England Revolution – This is an intriguing tie because so much hangs on what DC United side turn up. Sunday’s 5-0 hammering has raised plenty of questions and the Revs will look to capitalise. We’re predicting the Revs to edge a close tie and progress into the next round, heaping more misery on DC.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs New England Revolution

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. Real Salt Lake

Venue: Red Bull Arena – Saturday, July 11 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: New York Red Bulls 4/5 – Draw 11/4 – Real Salt Lake 16/5

Match Preview

It’s sixth versus fourth in the Eastern Conference as New York Red Bulls entertain New England Revolution on Saturday evening.

New York Red Bulls come into this one off the back of their 2-1 defeat against Columbus Crew. The result would be have been disappointing for Jesse Marsch as his side threw the game away after leading early on.

Recent form will be a concern for NYRB, as they have only won twice in their last seven regular season games.

Red Bulls are sitting sixth in the Eastern Conference and are only one point behind the Revs despite having played three games less than their opponents.

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New England Revolution are in a bad patch of form. Having lost their last four regular season games on the bounce they desperately need a positive result from this one.

Jay Heaps side come into this one off the back of the 3-0 drubbing at the hands of FC Dallas.

Worryingly for the Revs they have only won once in their last 11 regular season outings. With each passing game their opponents are seeing them as a beatable side.

Charlie Davies has easily been one of the Revs stand out players this season and he will be hoping to add to his tally of seven so far this campaign.

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Team News

New York Red Bulls will be without Chris Duvall while Ronald Zubar remains doubtful. Damien Perrinelle is one booking away from a suspension.

New England Revolution will be without Darrius Barnes and Jermaine Jones. Kevin Alston is a doubt and Teal Bunbury is also one booking away from a suspension.

Key Points

New York Red Bulls’ last five in MLS: L/L/W/W/L

New England Revolution’s last five in MLS: W/L/L/L/L

Key Stat: New England have lost their last five away regular season matches.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The Englishman to play a key role in this one and find his scoring touch again.

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Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 2-1 New England Revolution – New York Red Bulls to continue piling misery on the Revs.  

MLS Preview and Prediction: Columbus Crew vs New England Revolution

Competition: Major League Soccer – Columbus Crew vs. New England Revolution 

Venue: MAPFRE Stadium – Wednesday, June 24 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: Columbus Crew 19/20 – Draw 5/2 – New England Revolution 11/4

Match Preview

Columbus Crew host New England Revolution in their midweek clash as they look to win their first game in six regular season ties.

Despite the Crew’s winless run they are still sitting in a playoff spot but will need to turn things around if they are to avoid dropping out the top six.

They come into this one off the back of a 1-1 draw with LA Galaxy, which isn’t a bad result as they equalised in the second half through Federico Higuain.

Gregg Barhalter‘s side need to tighten up at the back, having conceded ten goals in their last five regular season outings.

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Kei Kamara hasn’t netted in his last three regular season games and will be hoping to rediscover his golden touch in front of goal which has seen him bag 10 in 15 appearances.

New England Revolution have struggled lately, winning just once in their last eight regular season games. They are still sitting in second place but last weekend’s loss to DC United has made their chances of finishing at the top of the pile much harder, as they are now seven points adrift.

Jay Heaps will be hoping a win in this one could be the start of a revitalisation for his side, as they have Orlando City bearing down on them in third.

They come into the game off the back of that defeat to DC United, which was bitterly disappointing as they threw the game away after being a goal to the good at halftime and need to ensure the players stay focused for longer here.

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Charlie Davies has had a bright start to the season, netting seven in 16 appearances and he will be hoping to build on that in this game.

The Revs thumped Columbus in last season’s playoffs but the two sides played out a 0-0 draw at Gillette Stadium in the first meeting between the two this year.

Team News

Columbus Crew could be without up to three players as Matt Lampson, Will Trapp and Chris Klute are all doubtful. We can expect to see Federico Higuain in the thick of the action, as he has scored in his last two games.

New England Revolution will be without Darrius Barnes and Jermaine Jones, who both remain sidelined.

Key Points

Columbus Crew’s last five: D/D/L/L/D

New England Revolution’s last five: D/D/L/W/L

Key Stat: New England have conceded at least two goals in their last four regular season games and have lost their last three away from home.

Key Player: Federico Higuain – The playmaker has been in good form of late. He has netted four so far this season and registered one assist. Expect him to be involved.

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Score Prediction

Columbus Crew 2-2 New England Revolution – Another tight affair expected, with neither side doing enough to take all three points. There should be more goals than the earlier meeting as neither side has been good defensively.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New England Revolution vs. Toronto FC

Competition: Major League Soccer – New England Revolution vs. Toronto FC

Venue: Gillette Stadium – Saturday, May 16th – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: New England 4/5 – Draw 13/5 – Toronto 100/30

Match Preview

New England Revolution entertain Toronto FC in an exciting looking Eastern Conference clash at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night.

The Revs are the form side in MLS right now as they are unbeaten in eight and have picked up three wins from their last four games.

That eight-game unbeaten run is the club’s best for ten years, since they went 12 games undefeated at the back end of the 2004 season and start of 2005.

A slow start to the campaign this year saw them lose their opening two without scoring a goal but they look to be on track now and are playing like a team ready to get back to the MLS Cup final.

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They will expect to beat Toronto on Saturday night as the Reds have struggled to find any sort of consistency yet.

Their two-game win streak came to end in their first home game of the season last Sunday as the Houston Dynamo won 2-1.

Head coach Greg Vanney knows he must get his side playing better football and despite beating Montreal Impact 3-2 on Wednesday night in the Canadian Championship, they exited that competition on away goals.

Toronto fans will hope that game doesn’t leave the players tired for Saturday’s match and they will be hoping for a fourth win of the season to move within six points of the Revs in the Eastern Conference.

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Both sides have some fine attacking talents as Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore of Toronto will have to try and outperform the likes of Lee Nguyen, Juan Agudelo and Charlie Davies. Davies has four in his last four and is looking dangerous.

New England won all three meetings between the sides last year, including the final game of the regular season as they sealed a 1-0 win at Gillette Stadium.

Team News

New England head coach Jay Heaps will still be without defender Darrius Barnes for another five months, while Daigo Kobayashi is still a doubt and is unlikely to feature. Andy Dorman is one booking away from suspension and needs to stay disciplined. Jermaine Jones could start in defence again, with Dorman and Caldwell in midfield.

Toronto have four players to worry about. Clement Simonin, Steven Caldwell and Joe Bendik are all definitely out, while Mark Bloom remains a doubt. Chris Konopka will start in goal again but Greg Vanney may make a few changes to try and prevent fatigue from the midweek game setting in.

Key Points

New England Revolution’s last five: D/W/W/W/D

Toronto FC’s last five: L/L/W/W/L

Key Stat: New England have not lost at home in their last 15 MLS matches, and have won their last two games in front of their own fans, scoring six times and conceding just one.

Key Player: Charlie Davies – Form is everything for a striker and Charlie Davies has certainly discovered his with four in his last four. He will hope to extend that streak to five against the third-worst defence in the Eastern.

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Score Prediction

New England Revolution 3-1 Toronto FC – Tough to see Toronto getting anything out of this one against a Revs side that are oozing confidence right now. This game should have plenty of goals but New England will stay unbeaten with a third straight home win to pile more misery on the Reds.

Evolution not Revolution the catalyst for success in New England

By Sandy Beeson – Twitter: @Sandy_Beeson

With a quarter of the season already gone we’re beginning to see how the contenders are faring in MLS. Alongside early front-runners FC Dallas, Vancouver Whitecaps and DC United are last season’s MLS Cup runners-up New England Revolution. Having bounced back from an injury-ravaged start to the season, head coach Jay Heaps has been quietly building one of the best teams in the league.

New England were the surprise package of the 2014 MLS season. A promising start had been wiped out by a franchise record eight losses in a row but, despite being sixth in the Eastern Conference in late July, the Revolution stormed the league in the second half of the campaign eventually winning their way to the MLS Cup final.

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They lost out to LA Galaxy on that occasion but current form suggests they might not be waiting too long to have another crack at the MLS Cup. Winning the trophy this year would represent only the second piece of silverware lifted in the club’s history, having been one of the founding members of MLS in 1996.

Their first trophy was the US Open Cup in 2007 during the team’s golden years when they finished MLS Cup runners-up three years on the bounce. Heaps was a mainstay in the Revolution’s defence during that time but, as he came to the end of his career, the foundations of the current side were beginning to be laid.

The 2009 MLS SuperDraft provided a number of future stars for the league with the likes of Omar Gonzalez, Graham Zusi and Matt Besler joining. New England picked up defensive duo Kevin Alston and Darrius Barnes, who both featured frequently alongside Heaps in his final year before retiring. Young goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth was signed on a free transfer while versatile midfielder/defender Chris Tierney had been brought in the season before.

With previous coach Steve Nicol’s 10-year reign unravelling, New England turned to Heaps to oversee the team’s transformation. From the start, Heaps recruited wisely with future stalwarts AJ Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Andrew Farrell and Kelyn Rowe coming in successive SuperDrafts. Even more encouraging was the emergence of academy prospects Diego Fagundez and Scott Caldwell.

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In his first season, the Revolution finished bottom of the Eastern Conference just as they had done under Nicols the year before. In 2013 however, with a teenage Fagundez firing 13 goals, they finished 7th overall in MLS and reached the playoffs for the first time since Heaps’ last season as a player.

Another improvement last season, 5th overall as well as the playoff success, has seen New England emerge as one of the best sides in the league.

A squad that has been gradually built up over the course of several seasons, capped off by the signing of Designated Player Jermaine Jones last summer, has proven to be greater than the sum of it’s parts. The loss of Soares, McCarthy and 2014 MLS SuperDraft pick-up Patrick Mullins has done little to slow the progress of the Revolution, whose strength in depth has come to the fore after a rocky start.

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Losses in the season openers away at Seattle Sounders and New York City, combined with a disappointing 0-0 draw with Montreal Impact, gave New England a poor start to the season, albeit without the talismanic Jones. Five wins in their next seven matches has emphatically answered any critics with Heaps’ well-balanced side and options off the bench proving a formidable challenge for any side in the league.

Jones has been paired up with youngster Farrell at the heart of a sturdy defence with the team conceding just four goals since the US international came back into the side, having missed the start of the campaign with injury. In front of them, a midfield engine consisting of any two from Caldwell, Andy Dorman and Jose Goncalves provides protection whilst allowing the array of attacking talents Revolution have to go forward with freedom.

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Arguably the signing of the close season was the capture of Juan Agudelo after his failed European adventure and the US international striker has teamed up effectively with a rejuvenated Charlie Davies. That’s not to mention 2014 MLS MVP candidate Lee Nguyen, who has yet to hit his sensational heights this season, and the fast-improving Rowe, who has relished the chance to take on a more attacking role.

A steely defence combined with a productive attack makes New England one of the most formidable teams in the league. They are the joint third highest-scoring side with 14 goals, and boast seven different goalscorers. They already have ten different players with an assist to their name too. The ominous signs for the rest of MLS are that for Heaps’ well-built team the best is yet to come.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City SC vs New England Revolution

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City SC vs. New England Revolution

Venue: Orlando Citrus Bowl – Friday, May 8th – 20:00 ET (01:00 BST)

Match Odds: Orlando 7/5 – Draw 23/10 – New England Revolution 15/8

Match Preview

Orlando City host New England Revolution in the opening fixture of the weekend at the Citrus Bowl on Friday night.

The Lions are still yet to win at home in MLS and this will no doubt be adding pressure on Adrian Heath with every passing home game without a victory. His side have now lost two on the bounce, including last weekend’s home defeat to Toronto, and they are going to have to put that winless run at home to bed sooner rather than later.

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Orlando have only scored six goals this season and worryingly only found the net once at home in four games. They desperately need Kaka to lead the side and if they can get a positive result here it could spur them on their way to better things in their debut campaign.

New England Revolution are really showing their class and have extended their unbeaten run to seven games after last weekend’s 2-1 home victory against the New York Red Bulls. They sit at the top of the Eastern Conference, racking up 17 points from their opening nine games.

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Jay Heaps and his side inflicted the Red Bulls with their first loss of the season and they will not be taking any prisoners in this tie as he will expect nothing less than three points.

Charlie Davies will be hoping he can kick on after last weekend’s strike which was his third of the season. Goals have been easy to come by for the Revs, with five coming from midfield and seven from the forward line already.

Team News

Orlando City will be without Tally Hall, Pedro Ribeiro, Martin Paterson, Lewis Neal and Tony Cascio through injury. Kevin Molino is out for the season after tearing his ACL, though Rafael Ramos will return after serving his ban. Amobi Okugo is one booking away from a suspension and given Heath’s injury woes he will be hoping he can avoid another caution.

New England Revolution have a near fully fit squad and no suspensions to worry about. Darrius Barnes is sidelined while Daigo Kobayashi could be set to miss out again. Andy Dorman is one booking away from a suspension. Heaps will be hoping for a straightforward win here as the confidence continues to build.

Key Points

Orlando City’s last five: D/L/W/L/L

New England Revolution’s last five: W/D/W/W/W

Key Stat: Orlando’s dreadful home start to their inaugural MLS campaign cannot be ignored, scoring just once and yet to notch a win. It is only a matter of time before their fans will be calling for things to change.

Key Player: Charlie Davies – The in-form forward could be in for a game full of chances if the Revs dominate this one.
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Score Prediction

Orlando City 0-2 New England Revolution – The Revs should come away with all three points but nothing can be ruled out as we have seen on so many occasions already this season. Orlando have struggled to produce at home and a game against the league leader’s will be a real test.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New England Revolution vs New York Red Bulls

Competition: Major League Soccer – New England Revolution vs. New York Red Bulls 

Venue: Gillette Stadium – Saturday, May 2nd – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: New England Revolution 23/20 – Draw 23/10 – New York Red Bulls 23/10

Match Preview

New England Revolution face New York Red Bulls on Saturday in one of this weekend’s standout fixtures. The Eastern Conference rivals are just separated by a point with the Revs leading the conference after eight weeks.

Jay Heaps’ side have had a strong start to the season and will be challenged here against a Red Bulls side that remain the only unbeaten team in MLS.

The Revs come into this one off back-to-back wins in a six-game unbeaten streak and look in a strong position ahead of the game.

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Goals have been coming from all over the field for New England, five from midfield and five from the forward line, with seven different scorers netting those ten goals. Charlie Davies has bagged two in his last two outings and will be hoping he can prove himself to be a big game player in this one.

New York Red Bulls remain unbeaten but have drawn four of their opening seven games. With back-to-back home draws, they will hope for better success on the road but will need to try and stop conceding the first goal to improve their chances.

It seems as if they are missing out on opportunities to be leading the Eastern Conference but if they can continue this unbeaten form it will give them a great chance of competing for top spot.

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Bradley Wright-Phillips and Lloyd Sam have started the season in brilliant form, scoring six between them. Wright-Phillips netted again midweek and his form in front of goal will be pivotal to how his side fare in the big games.

Red Bulls will have had just three days between this and their 1-1 draw against Colorado Rapids. They would have been expecting to win that game and cannot afford any complacency this weekend.

Team News

New England Revolution could be without four as Darrius Barnes, Jose Goncalves, Daigo Kobayashi and Lee Nguyen are carrying injuries. Nguyen would be a huge miss in the middle of the park but the Revs have coped well without key players already this season so Heaps should be able to rejig his midfield to cater for any potential absentees.

New York Red Bulls have just one injury concern to defender Ronald Zubar. Other than that Jesse Marsch has a full squad at his disposal. He will again be hoping for Wright-Phillips and Sam to combine but knows this is going to be a tough test.

Key Points

New England Revolution’s last five: W/W/D/W/W

New York Red Bulls’ last five: W/D/W/D/D

Key Stat: Goals – There have been 16 goals in the last five meetings between the sides so if that is anything to go by we could have an end-to-end tie.

Key Player: Lloyd Sam – The Red Bulls forward has really stepped up so far this season and is a real threat, he can be key to unlocking the Revs defence.

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Score Prediction

New England Revolution 2-2 New York Red Bulls – Another close tie with action like usual. The Red Bulls to continue their unbeaten run in possibly their toughest challenge so far.

MLS 2015 Season Preview: New England Revolution

As the 2015 season beckons, we’ll have a new MLS 2015 Season Preview up everyday. Today we take a look at what the New England Revolution will be hoping to achieve this year…

Is this New England Revolution’s year? Could they go all the way? They finished as runners-up last term and were a dominant force in MLS once Jermaine Jones arrived in August. They lost just once in the regular season after the arrival of Jones and were impressive throughout the playoffs before losing in extra-time to the LA Galaxy in the 2014 MLS Cup final. That defeat will still be haunting players as well as the Revs supporters but they are in a strong position to hit the ground running and make another charge at the title this season. 

Last season’s finish: Eastern Conference position: 2nd – P34 – W17 – D4 – L13 

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What needs to change this year? 

Not much if we’re honest, they just need to pick up where they left off and hope that Jermaine Jones and Lee Nguyen can continue to inspire them. Perhaps one weakness with the Revs is the lack of goals from their attacking core. Nguyen (as good as he is) should not be top scorer again and the return of Juan Agudelo is one which should only make the team more dangerous.

Key changes to squad:

Ins: Juan Agudelo – Forward, Jeremy Hall – Midfielder, Sean Okoli – Midfielder

Outs: Patrick Mullins – Forward, Tony Taylor – Forward, AJ Soares – Defender, Stephen McCarthy – Defender

Key player: Lee Nguyen – Midfielder

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Lee Nguyen was the standout performer for New England in 2014 and came very close to being named as the league’s MVP, though he fell short to Robbie Keane for that accolade. Still, with 20 goals last season and a deserved recall to the USMNT, Nguyen looks set to inspire his side once again. He was the highest scoring midfielder in MLS last time out and will hope to build on those incredible displays in 2015.

One to watch: Juan Agudelo – Forward

Juan Agudelo returns to New England for a second spell after leaving for Europe in 2013. He will add sharpness to this Revs side in attack and will be battling with Charlie Davies for the starting spot. He will be key this term so expect goals from the 22-year-old striker. With a supporting cast of Nguyen, Teal Bunbury and Jermaine Jones to name just a few, Agudelo could be a genuine candidate for the MLS Golden Boot this year. Watch out.

Predicted finish: Eastern Conference – 1st

New England were four points off first-placed DC United in the Eastern Conference last year and lost four more games than the eventual winners. Though they have Jermaine Jones for a full season now and his influence cannot be undervalued. The Eastern Conference is packed with talented squads and it will be a fiercely competitive campaign, but the Revs have only strengthened over the offseason and will expect to be competing for the MLS Cup again come December. They were the form side at the end of 2014 and won the Eastern Conference title in the end. They will go into the new season in full confidence.

How will New England Revolution fare in 2015?

Juan Agudelo set to sign contract through to 2018 with New England Revolution – report

Juan Agudelo is almost home. The 22-year-old forward is close to agreeing a deal that will see him return to Major League Soccer with the New England Revolution through to 2018 – the team he left to pursue his European dream, as Goal.com revealed at the start of the week.

It didn’t work out as Agudelo would have liked when he crossed the Atlantic to join Stoke City in January last year and the Potters had two work permit applications rejected for the USMNT striker.

He joined FC Utrecht on loan after joining Stoke in the hope that it would improve his chances of gaining a work permit, but that never happened and Agudelo has been without a club since May last year as a result.

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The former New York Red Bulls and Chivas USA man has turned down offers from Bundesliga clubs Werder Bremen, and more recently 1860 Munich, and is now in discussions with the Revs over what is expected to be a four-year contract.

At 22, Agudelo still has his whole career ahead of him and MLS is in much better shape just a year on from when he left, as are the New England Revolution.

Several USMNT stars have returned to MLS while global stars Steven Gerrard, Kaka, David Villa, Frank Lampard and Sebastian Giovinco will all join the league in 2015.

The Revs came so close to winning their first ever MLS Cup title in 2014 after being narrowly beaten by the LA Galaxy, but the return of Agudelo will undoubtedly strengthen the side.

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Lee Nguyen was the hero last year, while Jermaine Jones’s arrival added so much solidity to the team, and having Agudelo up top will ensure the Revs remain a force to be reckoned with this year.

He is a player with bundles of talent, and confidence too as he showed in 2013 with a phenomenal backheel lob against the Chicago Fire.

Juan Agudelo backheel lob for New England Revolution (via MLS on YouTube):

Charlie Davis was the first-choice striker last season but he only managed three goals in 18 regular season appearances last term.

His form in the playoffs was much better as he netted four goals with one assist in five appearances, but the return of Agudelo is one that the Revs needed to bolster their attacking options.

Is a return to New England a good move for Juan Agudelo?

Should New England Revolution have protected Patrick Mullins?

As we all know, the New England Revolution were hit hard by the MLS Expansion Draft and have lost one of their brightest prospects in Patrick Mullins to New York City FC.

The forward almost single-handedly changed the MLS Cup Final when he entered the frame for Charlie Davies. And although the Revs lost in the end, Mullins showed what he is capable of with some good hold up play and created space to get other players in the game.

The 22-year-old netted four times in all competitions last term and although not prolific, he showed in glimpses the potential he has in his rookie season.

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When looking at their protected list ahead of the Expansion Draft, it is hard to look into who could have been substituted out to fit Mullins in as a protected player.

The two forwards who were protected, Charlie Davies and Teal Bunbury, are both players who are a key part of the side and the Revs couldn’t afford to lose either of them.

New England Revolution protected players:

Goalkeeper: Bobby Shuttleworth

Defenders: Kevin Alston – Andrew Farrell – Jose Goncalves – Chris Tierney

Midfielders: Jermaine Jones – Daigo Kobayashi – Lee Nguyen – Kelyn Rowe

Forwards: Teal Bunbury – Charlie Davies

The draft was hard on New England, but it would appear they had done as much as possible to cover themselves from losing key players and given the nature of the draft it just seems as if it was something they had to accept.

Mullins will learn a lot from his new teammates David Villa and Frank Lampard, and the move will continue to improve him as an up and coming young player.

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The service from Lampard and finishing ability of Villa are areas he will benefit from no end, and playing alongside the Spaniard will be particularly crucial for his development.

The Revs will no doubt be disappointed to see him go, but couldn’t afford to lose any top performing midfielders given that their preferred system is 4-2-3-1. Bunbury is a more rounded and versatile player than Mullins at this moment in time, and Charlie Davies is the main striker and is the one who can create the unexpected.

Do you think New England were right to leave Patrick Mullins unprotected for the Expansion Draft?