New England Revolution | 2016 Team Guide

New England Revolution

New England Revolution | 2016 Team Guide - NE



  • U.S. Open Cup: 2007


2016 Storylines

The New England Revolution have shown that they value the defensive midfield position heavily in their last two Designated Player signings – Jermaine Jones and Xavier Kouassi.

Yet though they were unable to sign one, and the other suffered an injury before he could even join the team, the Revs central defense shouldn't be a concern entering the season.

Though Jones was integral in helping the Revs 2014 MLS Cup run, he played in only 18 games last season following two sports hernia surgeries and a run-in with referee Mark Geiger left him with the baggage of a 6-game suspension entering this season.

The sides were far apart on a new contract and Jones' outcry in public media forums likely splintered any good will in that relationship.

New England Revolution | 2016 Team Guide -

Gershon Koffie

Meanwhile, newly signed DP and central midfielder Kouassi suffered a devastating knee injury while playing out his contract with Swiss club FC Sion, delaying his debut with the Revs.

Keeping in mind that Kouassi was not even going to arrive in New England until the summer, the Revs were already geared towards filling that slot for the first half of the season.

Early in February the club worked a deal for Vancouver Whitecaps veteran Gershon Koffie, a player whom the club had in their sights for some time and a presence that should slot admirably defensive alongside Scott Caldwell, now entering his fourth season.

Also, don't put it past Jay Heaps to add a wrinkle as he did in the Desert Diamond Classic by slotting forward Kelyn Rowe into what he called "an attacking 8 position."

Daigo Kobayashi and Zach Heriveaux provide alternate options, while a pickup in the summer window, when they would have gotten Kouassi, would certainly not be out of the question if all else fails.

New England Revolution | 2016 Team Guide -

Armchair Analyst's Take

Jones was New England’s most dominant player. Not statistically, but in the sense that no matter the team or the situation or the guys around him, Jermaine did what Jermaine wanted to do. He’s been singularly resistant to structure and direction over the duration of his career, and that’s meant any team he was playing for ipso facto took on his personality. They had to, or it wouldn’t work.

Without him the Revs are less talented but more stable – they won’t regularly lose their dominant player to injury or national team camp or suspension or some combination of the three anymore, and in Koffie they’ve picked up an ideal replacement. He’s younger, healthier, less combustible and is possessed of roughly the same strengths and weaknesses, even if he’s not necessarily as gifted. He is a plug-and-play replacement.

Is that, combined with added defensive depth, enough to elevate them into the ranks of the Eastern Conference elite? Probably not, unless Juan Agudelo finally breaks out and becomes the star he should be, or unless Fagundez returns to his goal-poaching ways of 2013. Both of those things are on the table, however, and I’m banking on at least one of them happening.

Key Offseason Transactions

Gershon Koffie<br><a href="//">Jordan McCrary</a><br><a href="//">Sambinha</a><br><a class="small" href="//">All transactions</a>
<a href="//">Kevin Alston</a><br><a href="//">Andy Dorman</a><br> Jermaine Jones

Player to Watch: Juan Agudelo

Swagadelo, as the nickname hints, might be the most talented American striker in MLS. Can he be the most productive? That remains a mystery.

Projected Lineup:

Shuttleworth; Woodberry - Farrell - Goncalves - Tierney; Koffie - Caldwell; Agudelo - Nguyen - Fagundez; Davies

Fantasy Soccer

Lee Nguyen was a Top 5 fantasy midfielder in 2015, even after a slow start to the season. He’s looked sharp in preseason and is a strong bet to pay off his $11.0m price tag. Both Andrew Farrell and Chris Tierney provide solid defensive value at $8.0m.