New England Revolution logo - generic image

Armchair Analyst: One big question for New England Revolution

One Big Question: What's going on at d-mid?

This winter the Revs addressed their needs at the back in triplicate, splashed out on a third DP, and smartly (IMO) brought Kelyn Rowe back after a year in the wilderness. Bruce Arena has moved quickly and without much fanfare and has, in the process, seemingly improved what was a hard-to-beat playoff team last season. The Revs should be better.

But how good "better" can actually be will probably come down to the engine room, which is still in some amount of flux. Luis Caicedo, Wilfried Zahibo and Scott Caldwell are all back, and it's an open question as to whether that group is good enough to compete at the highest levels in this league. They frequently got gashed last season – if not for Matt Turner's weekly brilliance New England would've fallen well short of the playoffs – and it was such an issue that Arena made a surprise decision to omit Caicedo from the team's playoff game at Atlanta.

That decision really did seem to come out of the blue, but given how often they looked so vulnerable up the gut, who can really blame Arena? The fact that it didn't work out doesn't mean the instinct to try something different was wrong.

Well, now 2020 is here and it's those same three guys. Maybe Arena is counting on improvement from within via more chemistry and maturity from the players themselves, as well as a more robust rotation of center backs behind them, but that usually hasn't been Arena's way in the past. He's always had more of a "get me a veteran who can do the job" approach to winning.

It's up to Caicedo, Caldwell and Zahibo to convince him otherwise.

Series: