Revolution

Another Caldwell? Revolution select goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell in MLS Waiver Draft

Another Caldwell? Revolution select goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell in MLS Waiver Draft

Following the re-signing of defender Michael Mancienne, the New England Revolution added a goalkeeper early Monday evening. 

The Revolution selected Jeff Caldwell with the third overall pick in the 2019 MLS End-of-Year Waiver Draft -- and no, he's not related to Revolution midfielder Scott Caldwell. Caldwell was selected after New England sent it's 11th overall pick and a 2020 second-round MLS SuperDraft pick to Orlando SC to move up in the draft. 

New England now owns the 23-year-old's rights and can begin contract negotiations with the keeper who has two MLS seasons under his belt. 

Caldwell was selected with the 19th pick in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft by New York City FC following his four-year collegiate career at the University of Virginia. He made 28 appearances for Memphis 901 of the USL Championship league following a loan from NYCFC. 

While Matt Turner will more than likely continue to be the Revs' starter, Caldwell could provide a steady backup presence. Considering they selected Caldwell third overall, the Revolution possibly could see him as a starter some day.

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The Michael Holley Podcast: Bruce Arena on why he nearly turned down Revolution job

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

The Michael Holley Podcast: Bruce Arena on why he nearly turned down Revolution job

Bruce Arena led the New England Revolution to their first playoff appearance since 2015 after taking over a team that had the worst record in MLS when he was hired in May. 

That turnaround under Arena nearly didn't happen because, as the former US men's national team and veteran MLS coach told Michael Holley on the latest edition of The Michael Holley Podcast, he was initially reluctant to take the job.

"Believe it or not, I wasn't going to take the job here," Arena told Holley. "The Krafts just convinced me. To me, it was an interesting project, it was a unique opportunity. 

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"I said, 'The New England Revolution? What have they done lately? Are they really committed to winning? I said [to team owners Robert and Jonathan Kraft], 'If you're committed to winning, I'm willing to listen. I listened a little bit but didn't listen that well...They kept coming back and over a couple of days I was persuaded to come here."

Click here to listen and subscribe to The Michael Holley Podcast: 

Arena said the Krafts' commitment to the Revs that convinced him to come to New England has him hopeful for sustained success here. 

"I've had a lot of situations where I had teams near the top and they're demanding to win championships right away. I thought this would be a great challenge to build a team toward a championship," Arena said. "The Krafts have been great for me. They're building a great training facility. We're eventually going to have a [soccer-only] stadium in the city [of Boston]. They convinced me that they were going to support this team and we were going to make it happen in Boston."

Arena said the key to the turnaround last season was building confidence in his players and the playoff appearance has raised the stakes for this season. 

"Certainly, we had to get confidence back in the players. I felt in a short period of time, I thought the talent level was better than most people thought...I think we're putting together a good team, both on and off the field. We're going to turn up the expectations this year and try and be a better team than what we were last year."

And bout that stadium, Arena said, "I think it's going to happen during my tenure. I'm that confident about it. My wife and I are going to be moving to a condominium in the seaport. So, I'm hopeful that one day, I'm going to say, maybe I'll kiss my wife goodbye and I'm going to travel real quickly to the stadium for our match...I know it's a personal goal for Robert and Jonathan Kraft and they're working real hard to get that done." 

"I think in the near future we can get some news about the potential for a stadium here."

Arena also touches on his friendship with Patriots receiver Julian Edelman and ex-Pats receiver Danny Amendola, his New York roots and fandom of a certain baseball team to the south being put the test, the changing impact of MLS and soccer in the US, his passion for coaching and more in this edition of the podcast, presented by Night Shift Brewing.

 

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

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AP Images

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