Revs fans have been in a fierce debate since the start of the offseason about what the biggest weakness of this team is. After some good signings and cuts, it’s still hard to answer that question. But there isn’t really any solid answer between players and the coaching staff.
The problem with the Revs is that every starter is a good player and can play well. But in all positions they can do a LOT better. The problem is they have to get rid of a player to get an upgrade, and that’s something the front office doesn’t want to do. This is a good Revs team, but when people say they want better players, some will tell you to get rid of Rowe. That’s not a person fans want to see go and people will jump in and defend Rowe. If people aren’t willing to give up players, this team will never improve the way they want them to.
Like I said, this is a good team. But when you compare them to other teams, they have half their skill set. Many of the starters on the Revs would not be starters on teams like Toronto or Atlanta. Every player is decent, but we can do so much better. One thing that has worked extremely well for some teams is taking advantage of youth players, something the Revs haven’t done lately. Another hot debate is who the captain of this team is. Last year, for the majority of the season it was Lee Nguyen. Toward the end of the season, they gave the armband to other players, including Dielna, Toni Delamea, Cropper, Scott Caldwell, Kouassi, and Tierney. The consensus this year is that there were four top candidates for the captaincy.
Obviously, Nguyen kissed his chances goodbye with his actions. In my personal opinion, Tierney should be captain no matter what, on and off the field. The counterargument to that is that Tierney most likely won’t be getting minutes this season, and it isn’t the best idea to make your captain someone who isn’t on the pitch often. Ignoring that though, Tierney is the unanimous decision. He is entering his 11th season with the team, with his tenure going through three head coaches now (four if you count Sohen). He posses all the attributes of a leader and professional player.
Then comes Toni. The guy who won fans’ hearts with his commitment, honesty, leadership, and mentality. The guy was a clear presence on the field, and really seemed to have a command of the backline. The one counter argument I have with Toni being captain is the fact that he can’t speak fluent English yet. I think he might have trouble fluently communicating with the others on the pitch, and a captain needs to be able to do that. Toni also hasn’t made an appearance on the field since his red card against Philadelphia. Jalil Anibaba stepped in and up until this point, Brad Freidel seems to think he’s earned the spot.
Next, there is Kelyn. Honestly, there isn’t much you can say about Kelyn in terms of being captain. He’s been on the team for a long time, does great work with the community, hospitals in particular, is a great guy in general, and has National team experience. Other than that there isn’t much there. Some will say that the tenure is the biggest reason and that giving the armband to a guy who has played half a season or one season isn’t a smart decision. Whatever the final decision is, will certainly have a big impact going forward for the success of this team and its chemistry.
Claude Dielna Named Captain
However, Friedel made the decision to make Dielna the captain. Now Dielna still hasn’t completed a full season, but has won some fans over with his commitment to this team. This includes constant Instagram posts of him in Revs gear training in the offseason, his training workload, and work process. Dielna didn’t start off his season too well, getting a red card in the season opener, but was right back into the lineup after his suspension. With defense still a huge problem, many argue Dielna still has not proved himself to be a quality player on this team. The year is still young, and there are a lot of things this team still needs to address. The Revs lost their seventh consecutive game against FC Dallas on Saturday, but will look to continue their vague road success when they take on Columbus Crew SC next week.