In two weeks the New England Revolution will start the new season with the away game at Chicago Fire. After the team made it to the semi-finals of the MLS Cup last season, the Revs now want to play a bigger role in the league than in previous years.
The last competitive game of the Revs is now four months ago. After knocking out Montreal Impact, Philadelphia Union and Orlando City FC in the MLS Cup, the semifinals against Columbus Crew was their last game. It was one of only three away games in the league or cup that the team of coach Bruce Arena failed to score. As the live game statistics show, it was a deserved defeat, in which the home team was clearly better and the Revs could only build up a little more pressure in the course of the second half. In the end, the team only managed to collect 29 attacks and four shots on goal.
Traustason comes from Malmö FF
In the MLS, the Revs were only fifteenth in the overall standings and so the team is being upgraded for the new season in order to finally be more competitive in the long term. The best-known international signing is the Icelandic Arnór Ingvi Traustason, who comes from the Swedish club Malmö. The 40-time national team player previously played in Austria for Rapid Vienna and in Greece for AEK Athens. Traustason is a filigree, technically good left wing, but not known as a great fighter.
Boateng as an additional option for the left side
However, other newcomers should provide for the fight and dynamism anyway. For example Emmanuel Boateng, who is also based on the left side of midfield, but is a slightly more defensive player than Traustason. The native Ghanaian has already played 121 MLS games for LA Galaxy, D.C. United and Columbus Crew and before that – like Traustason – played in Sweden for Helsingborg.
Colombian snubs Bundesliga to sign for Revs
The third new signing for the left side is the Colombian Christian Mafla. It is the 28-year-old’s first season in the United States, having previously played in his Colombian homeland, but also in Argentina and Uruguay. The Revs seem to have signed a promising player here, especially since the German Bundesliga club Werder Bremen are said to have been interested in the left foot last year.
More routine for Revs’ defence
Also new to the team is the 33-year-old veteran A.J. DeLaGarza, current national player from Guam and with the experience of 266 MLS games in his back. The right defender comes from Inter Miami on a free transfer and can also be used in all other defensive positions. In addition, a new goalkeeper comes to Massachusetts with Earl Edwards Jr.: The 29-year-old Californian joins the Revs on a free transfer as well.
A former Barcelona Academy midfielder
We’re also already excited to see Cameroonian midfielder Wilfrid Kaptoum, who was last without a club, but before that he played in Spain for twelve years. Kaptoum went through the FC Barcelona academy, La Masia, and last played for Betis Sevilla. He played 15 games in the Spanish LaLiga.
Economical, but not lucrative either
So far, New England Revolution has remained thrifty and has had to spend little money on its newcomers. In total, about a million dollars flowed in transfer fees. At the same time, however, it was not possible to generate high transfer revenues. A small transfer fee was only received for Wilfried Zahibo’s transfer to Houston. Diego Fagúndez and Kekuta Manneh, who are both joining Austin FC, as well as Antonio Mlinar and Kelyn Rowe are leaving the club for free.
Exciting new young players
Furthermore, the Revs are again relying on talents from their own youth squads or the second team: With Jon Bell and the Brazilian Maciel, two talented players for central positions in defence and midfield are moving up to the first team. The services of the Ugandan striker Edward Kizza were also secured by draft: The 22-year-old comes from the University Of Pittsburgh and the college team there, the Pittsburgh Panthers.