New England Revolution flex newfound bravado: "We expected to win"


It took longer than expected, but the New England Revolution appear to finally be finding their way under Caleb Porter.

After a difficult 2W-10L-1D start to the 2024 season, the two-time MLS Cup winning coach has led the Revs to four straight victories, none bigger than Saturday's 2-1 victory at defending Supporters' Shield champions FC Cincinnati, behind a Giacomo Vrioni brace.

New England's latest triumph is the result of a noticeably growing confidence within the squad, according to their new manager.

"We expected to win. We didn't come into the game hoping to win. We came in the game expecting to win," Porter said. "And I think that says everything about our mentality and how it's turned.

"We were relieved to win our first game. And then slowly we became a team that hoped to win. And now we're a team that expects to win. And that's what you want out of your guys."

Vrioni delivers

Vrioni, acquired from Italian powerhouse Juventus in July 2022, suddenly looks the part of high-profile DP signing by scoring for the second straight game to reach 5g/1a in 16 appearances this year.

"I like to speak about the present because the past is the past. You cannot change it. You cannot control it. You can control what is right now and do something for what is coming next," Vrioni said. "So this is what we are trying to do and what I'm trying to do."

"He's gaining confidence," Porter said of the 25-year-old striker. "All season long, he's gotten in great spots and worked really hard and held the ball up really well and battled for aerial duels. His movement's always been good. He's always in great spots. So I think we're finding them as well."

"Nothing's changed"

Amid his club's best moment of the season, Porter is now set to face the Columbus Crew - with whom he won 2020 MLS Cup - in Matchday 23. It's Porter's first match against the Crew since he was dismissed at the end of the 2022 season.

"We followed our process, we haven't wavered. We've held a steady hand," Porter said. "I saw the signs that this was going to turn, and I think this is just a byproduct of us working really hard on the training ground, but we're working hard when we're losing, so nothing's changed ...

"We proved tonight that we can beat anybody in the league when we battle and we perform the way we need to."