2020 Season Preview: New England Revolution

After an encouraging second half of the season under Bruce Arena ... the MLS legend kicks off his first full season in charge of the New England Revolution. Well stocked on attacking firepower, the Revs could be one of the most exciting teams in the Eastern Conference.

Will it translate to a return to the playoffs? 

2019 Finish

  • MLS Reg. Season: 45 points (11W-11L-12D), 7th in East / 14th overall
  • MLS Cup Playoffs: Eliminated in Eastern Conf. Round One (vs. Atlanta United)
  • U.S. Open Cup: Eliminated in Rd. of 16 (vs. Orlando City)

Star players

  • Carles Gil — Last season's MLS Newcomer of the Year, Gil was a revelation in New England. After 10 goals and 14 assists, the Spaniard looks forward to his encore.
  • Gustavo Bou — Just like Arena, Bou joined the Revs midway through the season. And just like Arena, his impact was instant. The former Liga MX ace had nine goals in 14 MLS appearances.
  • Adam Buksa — Added with the club's final Designated Player slot, the Polish forward forms one of the league's more fearsome attacks alongside the previous players named. 

Extratime Analysis: New England Revolution

Key acquisitions and departures

  • IN: Adam Buksa — The 23-year-old Polish striker has represented his country across various youth levels and was involved with the senior squad, though has yet to make his debut. 
  • IN: Alex Buttner — Left back has been a revolving door in New England for a few years, so the former Manchester United defender is in to solve that issue. 
  • OUT: Juan Agudelo — The versatile attacker departs the Revs after six seasons with the team, joining expansion side Inter Miami.
  • OUT: Jalil Anibaba — Selected by Nashville in the Expansion Draft, a key member of New England's defense will have a new team in 2020. 

Projected Starting XI

2020 Roster

  • Goalkeepers (3): Jeff Caldwell, Brad Knighton, Matt Turner
  • Defenders (8): Alex Buttner, Brandon Bye, Antonio Delamea, Andrew Farrell, DeJuan Jones, Henry Kessler, Michael Mancienne, Seth Sinovic
  • Midfielders (9): Isaac Angking, Luis Caicedo, Scott Caldwell, Diego Fagundez, Nicolas Firmino, Carles Gil, Damian Rivera, Kelyn Rowe, Wilfried Zahibo
  • Forwards (6): Gustavo Bou, Tajon Buchanan, Adam Buksa, Teal Bunbury, Cristian Penilla, Justin Rennicks

Armchair Analyst: Strengths and weaknesses

  • Strength: They’re a 2019 playoff team that returned every significant contributor from that squad, and added a DP center forward and added two veterans at that troublesome left back spot and added a highly regarded Generation adidas CB via the draft. Plus in Matt Turner, they have the league’s very best pure shot-stopper.
  • Weakness: They haven’t addressed their frailty in central midfield, which was a real issue for the Revs last year throughout. Their results (and Turner’s heroics) masked some troubling underlying data that suggests teams really didn’t have much of a problem building quality chances against New England. And the league, this offseason, got a lot better…

Predictions

  • Ben Baer: 7th in East
  • Marcelo Balboa (Univision): 6th in East
  • Calen Carr: 5th in East
  • Charlie Davies: 3rd in East
  • Matt Doyle: 5th in East
  • Kristian Jack (TSN): 4th in East
  • Frederic Lord (TVA Sports): 5th in East
Series: