Revolution

Revolution president Brian Bilello releases statement on practice facilities reopening

Revolution president Brian Bilello releases statement on practice facilities reopening

On Friday, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced Boston sports teams can reopen practice facilities on June 6 with safety precautions.

"We've had positive conversations with our professional sports teams, the Celtics, the Bruins, the Patriots, the Red Sox and the Revolution," Baker said. "This (executive) order also will allow professional sports teams to begin practicing at their facilities in compliance with the health and safety rules the leagues are developing. Facilities are still closed to the public at this time.

"I know we still aren't at the point where we'll have our pro sports teams back playing anything yet, the leagues are obviously working hard to host games again. I think we all hope, that at some point, opening practice facilities will help make that happen a little sooner."

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Although there's still some work to be done before sports return to normalcy, it's a major step in the right direction.

Revolution president Brian Bilello released the following statement in response to Baker's announcement:

The governor’s announcement today is an important step towards our goal of returning to competitive play this season and we appreciate his office’s efforts to get our players back on the field. It means our players will have the opportunity to build their fitness in a controlled, safe environment under MLS protocols and the guidance of the team’s medical staff.

The Revs' state-of-the-art Training Center is located behind Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.

New England only was able to play two games before the 2020 MLS season was suspended in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, going 0-1-1.

Awesome Gustavo Bou goal powers Revolution to win vs. Impact in MLS tourney opener

Awesome Gustavo Bou goal powers Revolution to win vs. Impact in MLS tourney opener

The New England Revolution returned to game action Thursday night with a statement win.

The Revs earned an exciting 1-0 victory over the Montreal Impact in their first Group C game of the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando.

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A sensational goal by star forward Gustavo Bou and a spectacular performance from goalkeeper Matt Turner earned the Revs a crucial three points ahead of next week's group stage clash with D.C. United.

These teams were deadlocked 0-0 until Bou unleashed a rocket of a shot from just inside the 18-yard box to give New England the all-important first goal in the 56th minute. Bou showed impressive control to fake a shot with his right foot, bring the ball back to his left foot and power it past Impact goalkeeper Clément Diop.

Bou had eight shots total, with three on target. New England had 19 shots (four on target) overall, far outpacing Montreal's seven shots (two on target).

The Impact nearly evened the score and earned a point deep into stoppage time but Turner came up with one of the best saves of the tournament so far. He was barely able to get his left glove on a shot that appeared to change direction right as it was approaching the net.

Revolution midfielder Carles Gil also had a great game, including an assist on Bou's winning goal. 

How important was this win for the Revs?

It gives them an opportunity to clinch a spot in the knockout round of the tournament if they beat D.C. United next Thursday or Toronto F.C. on July 21. Group stage points also count toward the 2020 MLS regular season standings, so the Revs have picked up three points for that campaign as well. 

Bruce Arena: Revolution players have had 'real good approach' to MLS bubble

Bruce Arena: Revolution players have had 'real good approach' to MLS bubble

The New England Revolution begin MLS Is Back Tournament play Thursday night against the Montreal Impact, ending a four-month break caused by the COVID-19 pandemic forcing sports leagues around the world to delay, pause or cancel their respective seasons.

In an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, the MLS has gathered all of its teams in a bubble in Orlando for a World Cup-style tournament. The stakes are high as a berth in next year's CONCACAF Champions League is on the line, and group stage games will count toward regular season points.

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The Revs' first group stage game against the Impact is a tough one. The Impact boast a talented team, and they have won each of the last three meetings versus the Revolution, including a 2-1 win at Montreal in February. 

In a video conference call with reporters Wednesday, Revolution head coach Bruce Arena spoke about how his team is adjusting to the conditions in Orlando ahead of Thursday's showdown.

“The food is actually very good. Before we went, I saw that somebody wrote an article about how bad everything was here and the food was terrible. Actually, the food’s been very good," Arena explained. "The fields are very good. A hotel is a hotel. When you get into professional sports and you’re traveling a lot and you’re staying in hotels, you’re sick of all that. We’ve been here now a week. It’s going to be challenging as the tournament continues to grow. But we have no complaints.

"Listen, there’s going to be issues along the way with everything, with testing for the virus every other day. We’re getting on buses and traveling to training and all of that, and it gets a little bit of wear and tear on you mentally but, for the most part, our guys have had a real good approach to the whole thing. And as I said at the beginning of this, this is what we’d rather be doing anyway instead of just sitting quarantined in a house or an apartment in Boston. I don’t know why anyone would be complaining about being here. This is what we do for a living and we’re going to get the opportunity to do it. I’m excited for this competition to start.” 

There will be plenty of mental challenges for the Revs. Playing in a bubble is a new experience for these players. However, Arena is confident his team will be able to handle the adversity that comes its way.

“These are the things you do every day with teams. Whether you’re in a bubble or not, or you’re going on a long road trip, it’s the same thing," Arena said. "If your team is a real team and they want to play and they want to be successful, they find ways to overcome any of these small, little issues in life. Maybe there’s a day where the meal isn’t good, the bus is late, we have a thunderstorm. Come on. Let’s get on with it.

"That’s generally our attitude. There’s nothing here that really is troubling to our team. We have no excuses. There are really no excuses from our end. We don’t find anything here to be that difficult that we can’t deal with it.”