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Revolution Looking To Balance Their Roster Down The Stretch

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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

New England Revolution Draw With San Antonio In Mobile Mini Sun Cup Match

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In their second match of the Mobile Mini Sun Cup match the New England Revolution eclipsed their second draw in as many games with a 3-3 draw with San Antonio FC.

Teal Bunbury had the hot foot in this one with a pair of first-half goals alongside an Antonio Delamea header that had the Revs tallying 3 first-half goals. Unfortunately for New England, their three first-half goals were the only ones they scored in the entire match.

“I think we’ve been focusing a lot on fitness and I think when it can pay off like that, I think it’s great” Bunbury said after the match.”, it’s huge, and it motivates us more to be able to pick those times when to press and when not to. When everybody’s bought into wanting to work for each other, and our fitness level is high enough, we’re going to be able to outwork a lot of teams.”

San Antonio entered the second half with a two-goal deficit but was able to quickly recover taking advantage of New Englands six man half-time substitution by scoring two goals in a three-minute span off the foot of Éver Guzmán.

“The second half gave away two sloppy goals, but it’s always nice when some of the players that come in, sort of like a Brandon, he came in and got 90 minutes, Scotty [Caldwell] another 90 minutes, Mark, who hasn’t played against professional teams very much at all, only a few games in his career, it’s nice for them to go two goals behind and then try to hang on and then get back on top. There was a lot of good to take from the first half, some bad and then some good from the second half. I think it was important, the minutes are always important and it’s always essential that we get no injuries.” said Head Coach Brad Friedel.

New England had Brandon Bye, Scott Caldwell, and Brad Knighton all playing the full 90 minutes and the match also saw the debut of Revolution Academy player Kevin Vang who joined the Revs on Friday.

The New England Revolution will play two more preseason games in the Mobile Mini Sun Cup before kicking of their regular season campaign on March 3rd at the Philadelphia Union. The Revs will return to action in Tuscon on Wednesday against Sporting Kansas City and will then close out the tournament on Saturday against an opponent that has yet to be determined.

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New England Revolution

New England Revolution Looking For eMLS Representative

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New England Revolution

 The New England Revolution are on the lookout for the best EA Sports FIFA gamer in the City of Boston. The team is looking for an gamer to represent the club at the official eMLS Cup competition.

Major League Soccer and EA SPORTS debuted a new competitive gaming league for EA SPORTS FIFA 18. A total of 19 MLS clubs will recruit and sign representatives to participate in the inaugural eMLS Cup,

The event is set to take place April 5-8, 2018 during PAX East in Boston. The winner will earn the right to represent MLS in the FIFA eWorld Cup in August. 

 In preparation for the main event, the Revolutions tournament is set to take place on February 23 at the Microsoft Store in the Prudential Center. The top player from that event will represent the Revs in the eMLS cup.

For complete tournament details and to register for the tournament, fans may visit the club website here.

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New England Revolution

Revolution Draw With FC Dallas In First Mobile Mini Sun Cup Match

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The New England Revolution opened up the first of four Mobile Mini Sun Cup matches in Tuscon Arizona with a 2-2 draw against FC Dallas on Wednesday.

New England had a strong second half effort with both of their goals coming in the second with Cristian Penilla and Diego Fagundez helping the Revs come back twice against Dallas.

“I don’t think we all want to concede first, but sometimes it happens that way. I think you saw form the team, we all stepped it up. We got a goal back and the game changed a little bit, and we kept attacking on them and we knew the game was going our way. But then the game is just one way and [then] another, but at the end, we got it done.” Fagundez said to the media after the game.

New England’s ability to come back was nice to see, but Head Coach Brad Friedel sees a lot of chances to improve.

“FC Dallas is ahead again in fitness, which is really good for us because we’ve played a lot of teams that have been a little bit ahead. They’ve got a [CONCACAF] Champions League game just around the corner, so that was good that we got to play them. I thought other than the first 10 minutes, which were a little slow for us, I was really happy with a lot of the chances we created. Really happy with the way that we were building out of the back. There was a lot more bravery, if you like, on the ball, and the players are starting to be used to the system.”

The Revolution will play three more preseason games in the Mobile Mini Sun Cup before kicking off the regular season at the Philadelphia Union on March 3. The club will return to action in Tucson on Saturday, Feb. 17 against San Antonio FC and will then play Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, Feb. 21, before closing out the tournament against an opponent to be determined on Saturday, Feb. 24.

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