The MLS offseason is in full swing, and its time for the New England Revolution to get going. They will start what is arguably the most important offseason in their recent history. After missing the playoffs for three years in a row, the team has a lot do to compete in 2019. So what exactly do they need to do?
The Revs haven’t had any real and consistent playmakers ever since they traded Lee Nguyen. The lack of one has really played a big role in their downfall. Nguyen, who occupied the teams #10 role in 2017, was replaced by a few players with no real results. First, it was Diego Fagundez who started in the number 10 role, but throughout the year Kelyn Rowe occupied it, as well as Guillermo Hauché; none of whom were ever a consistent starter or consistent producers. The Revs need someone who can make plays, create, and score goals. Now with Rowe and Hauche gone, the team has the assets to get a new playmaker, but will they?
For the past 2 years, the biggest defensive need for New England has been leftback. Last year Gabriel Somi was supposed to be the answer, but that move flopped. This year they have gone out and gotten Edgar Castillo. While his age might be unappetizing, he’s a proven MLS leftback that can help this team if he stays healthy. Now that the Revs have wrapped up the left back position, center back becomes their defensive priority. Their backline may have been the most inconsistent back line in MLS last year. Every week brought a new pairing. The Revs need a new center back to play with Michael Mancienne to solidify the backline.
The Revs have struggled to find a pure goal scorer arguably since the days of Taylor Twellman. Kei Kamara was the last decent goal scorer they could rely on, and he was viewed as a bust. The Revs have lacked a pure goal scorer they can rely on to score 15 goals a year for a while. In fact, the last person to score more than 15 in one season was Lee Nguyen in 2014 when he scored 18.
The Revs have already gone out and signed Columbian Juan Caicedo. While the signing has been generally viewed as good, Caicedo has never had a season with more than 15 goals. The Revs are also rumored to be signing forward Justin Rennicks to a Homegrown deal. However, there still is no guarantee he will be producing as much as the Revs need from a striker.
Club president Brian Bilello has said the team plans on signing some high salary players, and possibly a few Designated players. Although the past has shown us the Revs’ spending doesn’t always lead to quality. It will be interesting to see how the Revs utilize the rest of the offseason and see who comes in.