Revolution

Bruce Arena has lofty goals for Revolution in region of champions

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USA TODAY Sports

Bruce Arena has lofty goals for Revolution in region of champions

Six championship banners currently hang at Gillette Stadium, and none belong to the New England Revolution.

Bruce Arena would like to change that.

The Revolution's new head coach shared a bold vision Thursday at his introductory press conference in Foxboro, expressing a desire to not only pull the Revs out of the MLS doldrums but carry them to the level of their highly successful neighbors.

"I said in my statement when I was named (head coach) that this is such a great sports town," Arena said. "We want to try to elevate the Revolution on par with these other championship teams in Boston.

"It’s a big challenge. I feel great about being in a great city with great ownership and great potential."

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Arena has a long way to go. Boston's professional sports teams have won two championships in the past seven months alone -- the Red Sox in October 2018 and the New England Patriots in February -- and the Bruins are one win away from reaching the Stanley Cup Final. The "disappointing" Celtics bowed out in the second round this season but have won an NBA-best 17 titles in their storied history.

The Revs, meanwhile, haven't reached the MLS playoffs since 2015 and sit dead-last in the Eastern Conference with 11 points.

But Arena, with five MLS Cups and experience with the U.S. men's national team on his resume, believes the mechanisms are in place for a turnaround.

"In all the positions I’ve had in the past in the league I’ve always wanted to be in an organization I felt wanted to win," Arena added. “In my conversations with the Krafts (Revolution owners Robert and Jonathan Kraft) and (Revolution president) Brian (Bilello), they’re really confident we can move the team forward. There (are) aspirations to build a stadium one day, and we’ll have the resources to make the team better."

Revs fans are hoping that process begins Saturday when New England hosts the Montreal Impact, who defeated the Revs 3-0 earlier this season.

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Revolution Classics: Lee Nguyen scores two goals vs. his former team

Revolution Classics: Lee Nguyen scores two goals vs. his former team

With no MLS games for the foreseeable future, NBC Sports Boston will give New England Revolution fans a chance to get their fix by re-airing some classic games. On Saturday, we'll take a look back at Lee Nguyen's two-goal performance against the Vancouver Whitecaps, who waived him earlier in the 2012 season.

In March 2012, the Vancouver Whitecaps opted to part ways with midfielder Lee Nguyen. That decision came back to bite them two months later.

On May 13, a 25-year-old Nguyen got his revenge as a member of the New England Revolution. Nguyen scored two goals and notched an assist against his former team to propel the Revs to a thrilling 4-1 victory. Those two goals also happened to be Nguyen's first two MLS scores.

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Saturday at 7 p.m. on NBC Sports Boston, you'll have a chance to relive Nguyen's sensational performance. Here's how to tune in:

How to Watch

NBC Sports Boston will be re-airing this match on Saturday, June 6 at 7 p.m. ET. You can watch on TV on NBC Sports Boston, or stream the action via NBCSportsBoston.com.

Revs return to training as Major League Soccer lifts restrictions

Revs return to training as Major League Soccer lifts restrictions

There's still a long way to go before games are played, but June 4 has been a good day so far for sports fans clamoring for leagues to return to action.

Not only did the NBA and NHL both announce plans for playoff formats, MLS lifted the team training moratorium that began on March 12. Teams may now submit individual club plans for full team training, which must be approved by the club's medical staff and local infectious disease experts before MLS approves those plans.

While full team training will be mandatory, the Revs held voluntary small group training at the team's training facility Thursday. Revs in attendance included Matt Turner, Teal Bunbury, Andrew Farrell, Adam Buksa, Scott Caldwell, Diego Fagundez, and Carles Gil.

Get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App

"This has been a very difficult time with COVID-19 and the Governor has done a remarkable job in dealing with the safety and welfare of the citizens in Massachusetts," said Revolution Sporting Director and Head Coach Bruce Arena. "The state and local authorities have been outstanding. In a perfect world, we would have preferred to be on the field earlier, but we completely understand the issues involved and safety first."

“I most definitely think the Revolution organization and MLS have created an environment where I feel safe and the rest of the player pool feels safe," Bunbury added. "They’ve taken every measure. Our athletic trainer and fitness coaches have really been on top of everything, so it’s helpful for us knowing we want to continue to push ourselves, but also knowing that we’re staying safe.”

Small group training is a good first step back for the Revs, but everyone knows that there's a long way to go before the league can hold a tournament in the Orlando area later this summer.

"We’re not in touch with the other players because we’re not allowed to pass balls to each other, we’re not allowed to speak with each other so it’s a little different than it was in the beginning of the year," said Buksa. "But it’s very important that we have a chance to train on our pitches."

“It’s very different. It’s a very awkward protocol. I think it’s safe, well over-the-top, but as I mentioned with what the Governor has done, the league has done the same thing," Arena said. "They’re very cautious about not having teams jump into full training too soon. It’s safety first. We’re being smart about it. It’s a safe environment for the players, and that’s our number one priority.”

While safety might be the Revs' number one priority, increasing their fitness level is close behind, especially considering it's been almost three months since their last game.

“I think fitness-wise, I don’t think we’re game-fit yet. None of us," Fagundez said. "It’s hard to be game-fit when you’re at home for a month and a half and you’re not on the field playing around with your teammates. It’s two different kinds of fitness. We’re trying to get there. We’re building that. I know we can get there. It’s going to take a little bit of time. With the time we have right now until the season starts, I think we’re good to go.” 

For Gil, the extended break gave him a chance to heal his injured foot which had kept him out of the preseason and the team's first two games of the season.

“Yes, it’s been good in the sense that my foot was able to recover," said Gil, "and I have a very good feeling that I’ll be able to be physical and put in hard work to find out if I’m 100 percent.”