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Revolution Looking To Balance Their Roster Down The Stretch



New England Revolution Looking To Balance Their Roster Down The Stretch

The New England Revolution won a vitally important game on Saturday night at home with a 1-nill victory over the Vancouver WhiteCaps.

The importance of this game can not be understated with only 11 games to go in New England’s MLS slate. With every game becoming a must win it is getting tough for Coach Jay Heaps to balance everything out with new players joining the squad

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Ideally, we get the players earlier in the window. The concern is, how fit are they and pushing them back too soon. There’s definitely going to be a period of adjustment and trying to get them acclimated without throwing off the depth that we’re adding just by guys coming back from injury. [Xavier] Kouassi’s been a huge piece. Every time he’s played, we feel like he’s been really good. He had that significant injury where he came back from the [knee] injury last year, but his quad this year. So him coming back, I feel like, is a real positive and where he is in his fitness is good. I agree – the margins of error are tight, but we’re in the fight like anyone else and we’re going to come every day to work to make sure that we continue to push and make teams know that we’re coming.”[/perfectpullquote]

New England has had the pleasure of having Xavier Kouassi return along with several new players joining the organization. One of those new players was announced this past week with the transfer for  Krisztián Németh. Németh is expected to be with the team this week.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Monday. He has his P-1 Visa. Now, it’s just a matter of getting the ITC [International Transfer Certificate].”[/perfectpullquote]

With having had these players coming back in the window the roles of players come into question. Even with their successes, adding more players into the fold makes Coach Heaps job even tougher.

Kelyn Rowe has been an electric player for New England this season and has been sort of a utility player for Heaps. Rowe’s ability to play in different spots and match up with different players makes him a very valuable player down the stretch.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“For us, I’ve said it and people joke about it, but I call him a jackknife. He’s got all those different tools and each one of them is razor sharp and he can play positions differently. So tonight, we just felt like if we could go east-to-west against this team, we were going to have opportunities for Kelyn in that wide spot to serve. And then we could solidify it. We also wanted to get a bigger guy in the back line in Je-Vaughn [Watson]. Je-Vaughn covered [Kendall] Waston on every set piece. So we felt like, alright, we get a bigger defender. We bring Je-Vaughn in and then get Kelyn to where we think he could be most effective, we might have a chance. I thought the service was – he’s one of those players, I just talked about [it] on TV, where he can get his head up and he can see where the run is going. He just has a really natural ability to do that and pretty special, quite frankly.”[/perfectpullquote]

In Saturday’s win, the Revs scored their first goal via Teal Bunbury, but after that Heaps went in favor of substitutions.  The reason being he wanted to slow the game down and play defensively instead of going for the second goal.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Normally, we might go for the second goal as opposed to drawing it in a little bit, but I thought we wanted to close the game down. [Xavier] Kouassi has been itching to get back and we needed to get him more minutes. [Scott] Caldwell has obviously played so many minutes for us. And Juan [Agudelo], we wanted to get him back in. There was a little dynamic and we wanted a little bit of speed to start the game, so we went with Teal [Bunbury]. I feel like now we’re adding depth and now we’re adding [Krisztián] Németh and Claude [Dielna] is now here. So, now there’s going to be some real fight for position, but also abilities to change games with substitutions.”[/perfectpullquote]

Bunbury was the lightning rod for the Revolution on Saturday with his ability to get into the backfield and stretch the WhiteCaps defense. His role this season has been back and forth with Bunbury bouncing from the starting lineup to the bench seemingly every game. But he has had immense success as of late and Heap’s credits his professionalism.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Even before that, because when Juan was gone, I thought he had a couple of good games as well. I think it’s great, because it makes a hard decision every time we have to make a decision on the lineup. He was in the mix. Actually, I thought he did a nice job in Chicago coming in the game as well to add a spark. For me, Teal [Bunbury], he’s a true professional. I know he doesn’t like starting one game and coming off the bench in the other, but he’s also, for me, a tactical piece, and we decide we can play a little differently with what he brings. Tonight, we really wanted that pace. We really wanted to be able to stretch their back line and find the gaps underneath and make [Matias] Laba and [Tony] Tchani get stretched, because their back line was dealing with runs in behind. It started to open up a little bit. It wasn’t all the way there, but in the second half, I thought that’s what started to happen. Their back line couldn’t deal with the pace and Teal beat them there. If they had, I think there would’ve been space underneath. So those are the things that we need to keep working on. Teal is a true professional. It’s not easy, but man, he puts his head down and comes to work every day and that’s what we love about him.”[/perfectpullquote]

Next up for the New England Revolution is a match down in the Bronx to take on NYC FC.

Tanner founded Trifecta Network in Spring of 2016 and has been the Chief of Content for the Network since that time. Currently Tanner covers all the sports teams in Boston and has contacts in many of the teams in the city. Before starting Trifecta, Tanner was a Site Expert for the FanSided site Chowder and Champions before leaving to cover Boston teams on the ground as a member of the media for Trifecta.

New England Revolution

Kei Kamara Traded To Vancouver Whitecaps For SuperDraft Picks



New England Revolution

During the half day trade window between 9:00 AM and 1:00 PM ET on December 10th, the New England Revolution traded star striker Kei Kamara to Vancouver Whitecaps FC. In exchange for Kamara the Revolution have acquired Vancouver’s 2019 natural first round pick and a conditional second round pick in those years’ respective MLS SuperDrafts. If Kamara is re-assigned before the 2018 roster freeze, the Revolution will get Vanouver’s natural 2020 first round pick as well. If Kamara is transferred outside Major League Soccer before the roster freeze, Vancouver and New England will share the money earned from the transfer.

Rumors of the Whitecaps interest in Kamara dates back to 2016 when the Revolution first acquired him in a trade from Columbus Crew SC. There was reportedly a deal set for Kamara to join Vancouver in exchange for Octavio Rivero but it fell through. When Kamara joined the Revolution he was coming of the best year of his career. He had lead Coulmbus to an MLS Cup Final scored 22 goals and narrowly lost MVP to Toronto’s Sebastian Giovinco. Yet with the Revolution Kamara never had the same consistency. After arriving in New England he had 7 goals and 2 assisits in 21 games in 2016 and 12 goals and 5 assists in 2017.

Kamara voiced is desire for a trade in a meeting with the organization earlier this year. “I feel bad for myself and for the club because I haven’t really produced for the club,” Kamara said. “They brought me here to score goals and do stuff and I haven’t had that impact, you know. [The meeting] was really about what’s best for both of us. I want to play here, I want to move forward.” Although Kamara is leaving, the Revs have attacking depth in their roster including Juan Agudelo and Krisztian Nemeth. It is clear that this offseason will be one of much change for the Revolution.

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New England Revolution

Defensive Overhaul Highlights New England Revolution Contract Deadline Day




This Monday, November 27, was the deadline for all teams currently not in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs to notify the League Office in writing of players whose options they are exercising and/or players who are receiving bona fide offers. The New England Revolution’s new head coach Brad Friedel called for a change in the club’s defense saying in a podcast interview earlier this month “I think you can look at stats, and stats don’t lie. Over 60 goals conceded is too much. That’s something we’ll need to address. We know what we need to address, and we’ll work very hard to address those issues.” The commitment to overhaul the defense was apparent when the Revolution announced their new roster on contract deadline day. Most of the players whose contracts were declined were defenders or defensive minded players. Those who are eligible for the re-entry draft may still be signed before December 14.

Nine players had their contract options exercised. Forwards Juan Agudelo, Femi Holliger-Janzen and Kei Kamara, midfielders Scott Caldwell, Zachary Herivaux and Kelyn Rowe, defender Chris Tierney, and goalkeepers Cody Cropper and Matt Turner.

Five players were already under contract for 2018. Forward Kriztian Nemeth, midfielders Diego Fagundez and Lee Nguyen, and defenders Antonio Delamea and Claude Dielna.

Seven Players did not have their contract options exercised. Forward Brian Wright, midfielder Xavier Kouassi, and defenders Benjamin Angoua, Donnie Smith, Josh Smith, Je-Vaughn Watson and London Woodberry.

Four players will be out of contract at the end of the calendar year. Forward Teal Bunbury, midfielder Daigo Kobayashi, defender Andrew Farrell, and goalkeeper Brad Knighton. Knighton is the only player who will be eligible for free agency.

Midfielder Gershon Koffie, who was with the Revolution on loan, will return to Swedish club Hammarby IF.

As of November 27th, 14 players will be returning to the Revolution in 2018.


Cody Cropper, Matt Turner


Antonio Delamea, Claude Dielna, Chris Tierney


Scott Caldwell, Diego Fagundez, Zachary Herivaux, Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe


Juan Agudelo, Femi Hollinger-Janzen, Kei Kamara, Krisztian Nemeth

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New England Revolution

Is The Risk Worth The Reward With Brad Friedel?




On Monday, November 13th, New England President Brian Bilello and General Manager Michael Burns sat down at press Conference with Brad Friedel to announce him as the new Head Coach of the Revolution to the media. Friedel’s opening statement was as expected predictable, but had hints of honesty. “We have a lot of work ahead” Friedel said in his unique mix of a British and American accent “but we do have a lot of good players here and a lot of good pieces to this club.” He continued by making a promise to the club. “One thing that we can guarantee you – because you never want to guarantee too much in sport – is that you’ll get 100 percent commitment from myself and my staff, as well as the players.”

Since the hiring, many soccer pundits and Revs fans have been quick to point out that the risk with Friedel. Like Jay Heaps before him, he has very little coaching experience. His only head coaching experience was at the youth level meaning he has no senior experience. But if you followed coach Friedel’s introduction to the club in Foxborough, there were plenty of signs of hope.

Brad Friedel is a legend on the field and made a name for himself playing for top Premier League sides like Tottenham and Aston Villa. In a sit down interview with Jeff Lemieux, Friedel talked about how he had not only gained experience on the pitch in England but also got a head start on his coaching. “When I was 40 I signed a contract to play on with Tottenham and I was contemplating retiring.” Friedel said “And part of the reason I didn’t was because I was able to go through my coaching while I was also playing.” Friedel help in the youth system at Tottenham and got to know and mold future stars like Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen.

After being in Europe for almost two decades, some wonder if Friedel will be able to adjust to the nuances of Major League Soccer. But Friedel has confidence that he is prepared for the transition. When asked about it he said “That won’t be hard to adjust to at all. Not every team over in Europe or England, for that matter, has these enormous budgets. Working at clubs like Blackburn as a player, but then at Tottenham, I know it’s a big club, but they work under a strict budget at Tottenham. You learn to work under whatever restrictions or not there may or may not be.” Friedel also has been has been studying the way American soccer is run. “The last two and a half years, I’ve been engulfed in the U.S. system the whole time. I understand the salary cap, I understand the TAM [Targeted Allocation Money] arrangements, I understand the DP [Designated Player] process, I understand how certain clubs operate under those budgets and certain clubs want to operate over those budgets.”

And when it comes to the hypothetical DP signing, coach Friedel will use his connections in the European soccer world to his advantage. “If – and im saying this is a big if – we want to sign a big name Designated Player, the likelihood is that I’ll know them personally.” Those kind of connections can only come from someone who has experience in the UEFA system.

Is Brad Friedel a risk? Yes. He is technically still brand new to being a head coach and has little experience in MLS other than playing. But the Revolution need to take that risk if they want any hope of staying relevant in a growing league like MLS. There is a lot to be excited about come next March, when the Revs get back on the Gillette Stadium pitch.

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