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The Revolution got here near pulling off a playoff upset towards Atlanta United on Saturday, however a 1-0 loss ended the membership’s curler coaster season.
Franco Escobar’s 70th minute goal was the distinction within the first sport of Main League Soccer’s postseason. That it was a one-goal margin was applicable, as the sport was even for a lot of the time.
New England’s season ends, however optimism abounds heading into 2020. After beginning out terribly in 2019 and experiencing a turnover in management, the Revolution put collectively an amazing run to get again to the playoffs for the primary time since 2015.
And with head coach and sporting director Bruce Area now on the helm, followers are hopeful about outcomes each on the sphere and off of it. New signings are possible, and the start of the team’s new USL club will assist improve participant improvement.
Listed here are just a few observations because the Revolution head into what may very well be a busy offseason:
Additions to the group are coming.
Given his propensity in 2019 for tasking gamers with unorthodox roles — like Juan Agudelo in central midfield, or Jalil Anibaba at left again — it’s clear that Area feels he wants so as to add new faces to the group.
In a recent interview with Sam Stejskal of The Athletic, Area confirmed that the Revolution have already agreed to phrases with one new signing (reportedly 30-year-old Dutch left back Alexander Büttner).
Area additionally instructed Stejskal that, “I feel we have to add three or 4 extra gamers.”
When requested at a midweek press convention previous to the sport in Atlanta if “conversations have begun” with potential new signings, Area merely replied, “sure.” After all, when requested a follow-up query about if he wished to say who these conversations had been with, Area had an equally quick reply.
“No,” mentioned the Revolution coach and sporting director.
That Area and his employees had been capable of rapidly establish ahead Gustavo Bou — the second club record signing of 2019 — is evident proof that he not solely has been given license to spend, but in addition that he intends to take action.
Nonetheless, Area has cautioned towards the notion that he’ll add a 3rd designated player merely for the sake of doing so. That mentioned, he left the door open to a different Gil-Bou sort signing.
“I feel nothing is off limits,” Area instructed Stejskal. “I don’t think about we’d signal a participant we’ve got to switch for $20 million, that type of factor, however we would definitely entertain having a 3rd [designated player] if it’s the suitable sort of participant.”
It may very well be an thrilling offseason for Revolution followers.
Preserving the core collectively will possible be attainable.
The opposite aspect of reshaping the roster within the offseason is asking who will depart from the group.
This stays an unsure proposition, as Area may go in a number of instructions. Agudelo was thought to be interested in leaving the club a yr in the past however selected to stay. Whether or not he continues to stick with the Revolution — he wasn’t an everyday starter by season’s finish — is up within the air.
New England’s defensive construction has additionally been in flux at instances, and it may very well be an space for Area to additional goal (assuming the Büttner report is true).
MLS can even undergo one other Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiation, which can impact the group’s offseason maneuvering.
Undoubtedly some of the necessary targets for the Revolution within the offseason will likely be to maintain core gamers, having solely simply began to construct an intriguing roster for the longer term. Bou will likely be again, as will goalkeeper Matt Turner (who just lately signed a contract extension).
MLS Newcomer of the 12 months Carles Gil, the team’s industrious playmaker, can even possible return. After all, Gil’s circumstances are just a little totally different than Bou’s. Whereas Bou is 29 and fewer more likely to appeal to larger stage consideration from abroad golf equipment, Gil is 26. There stays an opportunity group pursues him.
When requested concerning the probability of Gil being again in 2020, Revolution president Brian Bilello couldn’t definitively affirm it, however sounded moderately positive of the Spaniard’s continued presence in New England’s midfield.
“I absolutely anticipate Carles to be round,” mentioned Bilello. “However to say I’m 100 p.c assured, I’m not 100 p.c assured that any participant in MLS goes to be on their groups subsequent yr.”
Bruce Area’s presence has created optimism and elevated expectations.
When Area arrived in Could, the Revolution had been final within the Japanese Convention. Together with interim coach Mike Lapper, he oversaw the longest unbeaten run in MLS in team history, vaulting New England again right into a playoff race.
He made his group a tough one for opponents to beat. The one Revolution losses in league or postseason video games after Area took cost got here towards Atlanta United, New York Metropolis FC, and Los Angeles FC, all of whom are amongst MLS’s elite.
His presence additionally instantly led to a different membership document signing in Bou. What the Argentinian will do in a full season in MLS has Revolution followers excited.
In a bigger sense, Area being in cost has not solely restored confidence within the membership, but in addition inevitably supplies a way of optimism concerning the future.
Added to that will likely be elevated expectations. After digging out of a 2-Eight-2 begin, followers could have hope that New England can intention larger within the convention standings in 2020.
“I’d wish to suppose our greatest years are forward of us,” Area mentioned after the group clinched a playoff berth in September. “I’m not able to be dancing within the woods or having parades and stuff as a result of we made the playoffs. I feel the purpose right here is to get this membership higher positioned to be one of many prime golf equipment within the league and at some point win an MLS Cup. We’re not there but.”
With an offseason to start formally reshaping the roster, Area now will get his likelihood to start constructing the “prime membership” he envisions.