Revolution

2020 MLS Draft results: Revolution take Henry Kessler with No. 6 pick

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2020 MLS Draft results: Revolution take Henry Kessler with No. 6 pick

The New England Revolution found their man near the top of the 2020 MLS SuperDraft.

The Revs selected Virginia defender Henry Kessler with the No. 6 overall pick in Thursday's draft.

And according to head coach Bruce Arena, the team is quite pleased with its choice.

"He was absolutely our first choice of player to have. If [we] picked number one, we would've picked him," Arena said. "We were excited. We were a little concerned after the first two picks. He could've gone at three, four, or five. We were trying to move up in the draft as well, but that didn't happen. We were very fortunate he was available at number six and we jumped on it immediately.

"He's a player that we think has great potential. He has good size for a defender, is smart, good communicator on the field, good passer of the ball, knows how to step into the midfield and win tackles. We think he's a player with a lot of potential.” 

Kessler, 21, was a semifinalist in 2019 for the MAC Hermann Trophy, given to the top college player in the country.

The New York native started in 24 games for the Cavaliers and led a defense that finished tied for first in the nation in fewest goals allowed per game (0.53).

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He was named to the All-ACC first team and helped Virginia reach the NCAA title game, where it lost to Georgetown in penalty kicks.

The Revs then shook things up a bit by trading their No. 13 overall pick to Nashville FC for up to $100,000 in general allocation money.

New England had two picks in the second round and selected Cal defender Simon Lekressner at No. 30 overall and High Point goalkeeper Keegan Meyer at No. 43 overall.

Rounds three and four of the MLS SuperDraft will be held on Monday.

Here's a recap of the Revs' activity Thursday:

FIRST ROUND
No. 6 overall: Henry Kessler, D, Virginia

SECOND ROUND
No. 30 overall: Simon Lekressner, D, Cal
No. 46 overall: Keegan Meyer, GK, High Point

Revolution detail improvements that need to be made ahead of season opener

Revolution detail improvements that need to be made ahead of season opener

The New England Revolution have geared up for the 2020 MLS season with a win, loss and draw in preseason matches thus far on the West Coast. Coach Bruce Arena would like to get more out of his team before heading to Montreal to face the Impact in the season opener on Feb. 29. But what exactly needs to be kicked up a notch?

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“A better job on the ball, keeping the ball, and a better job in trying to win it back when we lost it, and just getting pressure on the ball and being more aggressive, more competitive,” Arena said, according to Elizabeth Pehota of revolutionsoccer.net. “I think just the simple things had to be better and they were in the second half [on Sunday].”

While Arena says the club needs to focus more on aggressiveness, newcomer Adam Buksa thinks the squad needs to be a bit more consistent up front.

“I focus on those final decisions – shots, final passes – so I think we could have created more 100-percent chances,” said Buksa. The 23-year-old Polish striker was signed as a designated player on Dec. 31 and was referring to Sunday's 2-2 draw against Minnesota United. “But we’re going to improve them for sure because we understand us much better as we get to know each other better and better, so it will come for sure.

“We want to be more consistent up front, to score more goals and keep zero on the defensive line.”

Buksa and his teammates will have two more chances to better themselves in preparation for the season opener: Wednesday against the Vancouver Whitecaps and Saturday against the Portland Timbers. 

 

Revolution unveil new kits, react to 1996-style tribute: 'Our whole club is about history'

Revolution unveil new kits, react to 1996-style tribute: 'Our whole club is about history'

The New England Revolution, along with the rest of the teams in Major League Soccer, unveiled their new kits for the upcoming 2020 season in New York City on Wednesday -- and they are gorgeous.

"I think the fans are really going to like it and enjoy it," said Teal Bunbury, according to revolutionsoccer.net.

The Revs are throwing it back with an updated version of the classic look they sported in 1996, calling it "The Original," and they had a little help with the reveal from former player Alexi Lalas.

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The red shorts, in particular, bring the whole kit together -- adding more color than in previous years. The only year New England wore red shorts as part of the kit was during the 1996 season. Bringing them back has made the current team reflect on how important it is to respect the history of the MLS.

"I think our whole club is about history," said Kelyn Rowe. "Since I've been here it's about supporting history, making history and making sure we respect everything that came before you."

Rowe, who has returned to the Revolution after spending the 2019 season with Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake, was particularly hyped about the new look.

Current Revolution President, Brian Billelo, also was pretty excited about the unveiling.

"I think we're all excited to put it on and get into games and play with it," Revolution striker Diego Fagundez said of the new uniforms.

New England's new kits aren't the only thing being upgraded this year. With their first full season under head coach Bruce Arena, the Revs are set to reach new heights than in years past after a first-round playoff exit last season.

The Revolution will kick off the regular season with a trip to visit the Montreal Impact on Feb. 29 after five preseason games on the west coast.