Hey, the Foxboro Revolutions are playing again!

Senator Donut

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Senator Donut

post-Domer
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SMH, everyone knows Kessler was a Superdraft player, not a homegrown. What an idiot!

Anyway, in more serious Revs analysis, Eliot McKinley of American Soccer pointed out that not only were the Revs without Carles Gil for most of the year, they were also horrifically unlucky on a Goals-xG basis. So much so, that the Revs were one of the worst xPoints-Points teams in the league, despite Matt Turner’s elite goalkeeping skewing the xGA numbers.

View: https://twitter.com/etmckinley/status/1334593783162261505
 

Titans Bastard

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Is Robert attending today’s Revs or Pats game?
Hah, I'd be shocked if he were in Columbus. Bob really doesn't have anything to do with the Revs, as far as I can tell. It seems like the team has mostly been delegated to Jonathan.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Buksa gets body-slammed in the penalty area, no call.

Then immediately after, Zardes with a great chance, saved by Turner.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Bou not at his best so far. Hopefully it’s one of those where he stinks until uncorking the goal.
 

Titans Bastard

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It just doesn't feel like New England's night so far. The passing hasn't been sharp enough to generate enough chances, and it's put them under needless pressure too often. Still time to turn it around, but I don't like the vibe.
 

Titans Bastard

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Deserved win for Columbus.

Really disappointing to go out amid such a good run of form, but it's hard to argue that the Revs are anywhere near one of the best two teams in the league.

There's a lot to build on here. The Revs need to go out and get a top-notch CM first and foremost.
 

67YAZ

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Juts caught up on the match, and that was tough. But great run for the Revs. Gil just makes this team tick.

One of the advantages of having Arena at the helm is that they can invest a lot in that CM position this winter and then bargain shop for depth everywhere else. Arena knows MLS so well and has a great knack for getting guys to successfully fill specific roles. This squad should be very competitive again next season providing Gil stays healthy.
 

Titans Bastard

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Yeah, Arena's superpower as a coach/GM in this league is getting amazing cap value out of domestic players. That's pretty much the entire Revs abackline, which is made up of Andrew Farrell (older draftee) and three guys drafted within the last two seasons. One of them replaced a perfectly fine RB (Brandon Bye) who was drafted three years ago.

It's a stark contrast with two CBs that Mike Burns signed 2-3 years ago: Claude Dielna and Michael Mancienne, who were both mediocre Championship defenders. Since the Venn diagram of quality of players in the Championship and MLS has a huge amount of overlap — surprise! — they weren't very good in MLS either. Mancienne took a pay cut from $850k in 2019 to $400k in 2020, but that's a very poor value for someone who is now a backup CB and he'll be gone this winter. Basically the same story with Dielna, who left after 2018.

Mancienne was the highest paid in the league at one point (lol), Dielna was the second highest paid in the league at one point (lol), behind only the LA Galaxy's Jørgen Skjelvik (LOL).

MLS clubs in general have been pretty bad about getting foreign CB signings right. There have been a lot of awful TAM signings ($500k-$1m salary range for people who don't speak MLS-ese) at that position. Nashville spent a LOT of MLS funny money to get Walker Zimmerman from LAFC and it was still a good deal for them and a bad deal for LAFC because Zimmerman is the new Chad Marshall and they can build around him for at least half a decade.


TBH, it's a bigger problem than CB; it's just particularly acute at that position. A few things tend to happen: some MLS GMs tend to overrate European players relative to domestic players. Europeans hired to GM/sporting director type positions almost always do this: they bring in "their guys" who they know, but it turns out that the unspectacular starter on a midtable Eredivisie club is unspectacular at best in MLS because Eredivisie clubs outside of the big boys aren't any better than MLS teams and quite a few of them are worse. And then in South America, most MLS clubs don't have extremely sophisticated scouting networks and MLS GMs can get bamboozled by South American clubs & agents and overpay for only okay talent in the hopes of replicated the really successful imports from that region.

Arena isn't the most sophisticated tactical coach, but he's a very good MLS roster-builder because he mostly sees through the BS and doesn't over- or underrate players based on their background and he's good at finding role players who fit together. He's also capable of coaching up young players (especially draftee types — he doesn't have much of a track record either way with 17 year old academy signings).

I'm really curious to see how things go over the next few years. More academies are pumping out real talent, and there's an increasing recognition that clubs are missing on a lot of their TAM signings. I hope to see pendulum on a lot of teams swing slightly more toward "trust the youth" than it has been.
 

Titans Bastard

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Arroyo Con Frijoles

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Will be sad to see Diego go, he was a bright attacking spot in some drab years for the club and a great local story. I always thought he'd progress more, but it never happened.

The club is in a good spot, and with Arena at the helm I think we'll see much better return on investment. It's amazing how bad some of these ~$500k players have been for the Revs over the years.
 

Titans Bastard

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First minor offseason move: the Revs traded for the rights to Jon Bell. Bell was drafted by the Quakes last year, but ended up on a USL deal with Revs II. He started all year long, mostly at CB and sometimes at LB. This means that he will soon be signing an MLS deal. Cheaper depth than Mancienne and Delamea, that's for sure.

Curiously, they traded a fourth round draft pick. I read that MLS was cutting the fourth round of the draft.
 

Titans Bastard

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The Revs sign Earl Edwards, an MLS free agent. He comes from D.C. United and he'll compete with Brad Knighton to be the backup GK.

Revs assistant Richie Williams worked with him when Richie was coaching Loudoun United.
 

Senator Donut

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I doubt he’s making much money, but it does seem a bit wasteful to use a third senior roster spot on a goalkeeper. (The Revs most recent third goalkeeper, Caldwell, aged out of the supplemental roster this offseason.)
 

Titans Bastard

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Senator Donut

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The Revs have signed a 27 year old Colombian left back from Atlético Nacional.

https://www.revolutionsoccer.net/post/2020/12/21/revolution-acquire-defender-christian-mafla
I'm not sure exactly what to make of this. I think that this most likely means that Alexander Büttner is on his way out, as he lost his job to DeJuan Jones and doesn't seem to be favored by Arena. I am curious if Mafla will start over Jones.
I think Bruce most importantly wants a left-footed left back. He brought in both Sinovic and Buttner last offseason, even though Jones had established himself as reliable at the position in 2019.

I’d say MLS teams don’t use international slots on bench players, but considering Mancienne was brought back as a 4th central defender, I’m not sure if that’s true anymore.
 

Senator Donut

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The Revs have been very active in the early offseason

View: https://twitter.com/nerevolution/status/1341760480252190721


I’m not going to pretend I’m qualified to evaluate the merits of this signing, but getting a La Masia alum at the position of biggest need seems like a good idea.

They also signed their own free agent Tommy McNamara, who I thought was superb in a bench role down the stretch last year. He would be a good value at around his 2019 salary, which was $165k.

Lee Nguyen posted a goodbye on his social media accounts. He appears headed to Ho Chi Minh City FC.
 

Titans Bastard

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The Revs are signing Arnor Traustason, an Icelandic winger. The club hasn't officially announced it, but they did tweet a video clip that consisted of the Icelandic flag colors and audio of the Viking clap thing, so...

https://www.thebentmusket.com/2021/3/15/22332855/report-revolution-acquired-arnor-traustason

I can't quite make sense of what our XI is going to be, mostly in a good way because there are options.

GK: Future USMNT #1 Matt Turner

RB: Probably Brandon Bye since Bruce talked about Buchanan as a winger last week. DeLaGarza.is a backup, Jones & Buchanan can play here. So can Polster.

CB: Kessler & Farrell. DeLaGarza and Verfurth as backups, but this feels awfully weak should one of the starters get hurt.

LB: I thought Jones did decently last year but Christian Mafla might be preferred, we'll see.

CM: Kaptoum and Polster or Caicedo as starters? McNamara, Caldwell also in the mix.

#10 - Does Bou play here (more like a supporting striker perhaps), or Gil?

Wingers: The other of Bou/Gil + one of Traustason or Bunbury or Buchanan.

FW: Buksa, backed up by Rennicks + Kizza, plus Bou or Bunbury could play up top if needed


Three questions I have, in no particular order:

1) Are we going to get another CB?
2) Will Buksa improve on his 2020 performance?
3) Will Kaptoum be the man in CM? My view is that we have a lot of perfectly reasonable CMs but nobody who is particularly high-end by MLS standards.
 

Senator Donut

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Two depth signings from Revs II. Bell is a CB and Maciel is a CM. Hopefully Bell and Collin Verfurth are good! They have zero MLS experience thus far.

https://www.revolutionsoccer.net/post/2021/03/22/revolution-sign-defender-jon-bell-and-midfielder-maciel-first-team-contracts
Maciel occupies an international slot so there is a huge opportunity cost to bring him on the roster. (Atlanta paid $225k in GAM to acquire one today.) The Revs’ top Superdraft pick, Edward Kizza, also occupies a slot so that’s a lot of roster resources allocated to players with no MLS experience.
 

67YAZ

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Hey Revs fans, you ready for tomorrow night? Should be about 40 degrees when the match kicks off and with only 7,000 fans in all of Soldier Field is going to be barren-tundra-esque. But I know the teacher selected to sing the anthem, so very exciting!
 

Senator Donut

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Hey Revs fans, you ready for tomorrow night? Should be about 40 degrees when the match kicks off and with only 7,000 fans in all of Soldier Field is going to be barren-tundra-esque. But I know the teacher selected to sing the anthem, so very exciting!
So glad that the Naperville/Bridgeview Fire have finally found a home, which is the same as their original home, except with a lot more steel and glass added. As much crap as the Revs get for being stuck at an NFL stadium (and deservedly so), I find it hilarious that the Fire built a soccer-specific stadium, then decided that was actually a bad idea and they don’t want it anymore.

Anything less than three full points would be disappointing. I don’t think losing Mihailovic is going to all that impactful, as the Fire, much like Jason Kreis, couldn’t figure out how to deploy him to the fullest of his abilities. That being said, I don’t see a lot of above average MLS starters on that roster.
 

67YAZ

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So glad that the Naperville/Bridgeview Fire have finally found a home, which is the same as their original home, except with a lot more steel and glass added. As much crap as the Revs get for being stuck at an NFL stadium (and deservedly so), I find it hilarious that the Fire built a soccer-specific stadium, then decided that was actually a bad idea and they don’t want it anymore.

Anything less than three full points would be disappointing. I don’t think losing Mihailovic is going to all that impactful, as the Fire, much like Jason Kreis, couldn’t figure out how to deploy him to the fullest of his abilities. That being said, I don’t see a lot of above average MLS starters on that roster.
I'd be very happy with a draw. Both Aliseda and Navarro are likely out, so the left side is going to consist of very old friend Johnny Bornstein and very new friend Chinoso Offor. Offor is 20 and was brought in to be Beric's understudy at the 9, but with Ivanovic out for 4 months and Aliseda out for a week or two, the kid gets to figure out the wing on the fly. And since Francisco Calvo plays LCB, the Revs should make a lot of hay down their right side. But keep an eye on Gatson Gimenez in the middle. For my money, he's the Fire's best player and the key to getting any result.
 

Arroyo Con Frijoles

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Does anybody know the blackout situation given the move to OTA broadcasts on WBZ? The reach of NBC Boston is obviously a lot more than the local CBD affiliate (and before ESPN+ the Revs didn't black out MLS Live at all). I'd hope they're not creating a big problem for non-Boston fans in solving another.
 

Senator Donut

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Does anybody know the blackout situation given the move to OTA broadcasts on WBZ? The reach of NBC Boston is obviously a lot more than the local CBD affiliate (and before ESPN+ the Revs didn't black out MLS Live at all). I'd hope they're not creating a big problem for non-Boston fans in solving another.
Here’s what their press release said:

WBZ-TV and WSBK-TV38 are available to viewers in Boston (Manchester), New Hampshire, and Vermont. In Rhode Island, Revolution matches will be broadcast on myRITV (click here for channel listings). All regionally televised MLS games are streamed live for out-of-market subscribers on ESPN+.

My reading of this is that ESPN+ will be blacked out in MA, NH, VT, and RI, but available in ME and CT.
 

Senator Donut

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Does anybody know the blackout situation given the move to OTA broadcasts on WBZ? The reach of NBC Boston is obviously a lot more than the local CBD affiliate (and before ESPN+ the Revs didn't black out MLS Live at all). I'd hope they're not creating a big problem for non-Boston fans in solving another.
I went to go put the Celtics on my second stream, but I tried to stream the Revs on ESPN+ first and it wasn’t even blacked out in my area (Boston).

shit 0-1
 

67YAZ

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2! Who saw this coming?

Even before the goal, Stojanovic was making things happen in the midfield that were entirely missing last season. Welcome back Luka!

Edit: 13 minutes & 3 goals. Here we go!