Revolution

Teal Bunbury: Revolution want to do more than 'just make playoffs'

Teal Bunbury: Revolution want to do more than 'just make playoffs'

The New England Revolution are back in the MLS Playoffs for the first time since 2015, and they want to make a splash. 

Revolution midfielder/forward Teal Bunbury, in particular, is extremely proud of what New England has been able to accomplish since Bruce Arena was named head coach in May.

"I think we're very hungry. It's been an up-and-down season, guys have been putting in the work," Bunbury told revolutionsoccer.net earlier this week. "Really proud of how we've been able to kind of turn this season around. The support we've had. But now we're not satisfied with just making it into the playoffs. We know Atlanta's obviously the defending champions, they're a great team. We just played there recently but I think we're going to have a good game plan going into the game on Sunday and we're going to be motivated and we're going to be ready to go."

In their final game of the regular season, the Revolution fell to Atlanta United 3-1, but that game was a good primer for what's ahead in their playoff rematch in Atlanta on Saturday at 1 p.m. Bunbury noted the season finale helped New England figure out Atlanta's tendencies and what to expect in the playoffs. 

"Their tendencies. You know, their attacking tendencies. Josef Martinez is a goal scorer. So, obviously he's someone we're going to have to keep an eye on," Bunbury said. "But right now I think it's a lot about attention to detail. You'll probably hear that from a lot of the guys. In these moments it's about just who executes, who competes. Obviously tactics are going to play a huge role but you never know what's going to happen in these playoff games, and it's not going to be very high scoring, but we're all going to need to be one unit and working for each other and if someone makes a mistake you're picking that person up. So, that's what's going to be most important."

Bunbury knows that the Revs' are confident and will seize the opportunity, but they've never beaten Atlanta and are pegged as the underdogs. Although, he's not focused on that.

"I don't think we pay attention to that," Bunbury said. "I think we've done well enough to get ourselves in this position and we're a confident group, and I think we've been working hard all season long and I think it's going to come down to the little moments in this game and not messing up on little plays here and there. Four months ago we had no chance at making the playoffs and we did it so, it's okay if we have these people saying we're underdogs or whatever it might be. But I think we're a confident group and we have a great opportunity. We all love as athletes to be able to play in these situations, so I think everyone's going to be up for it."

It's going to be difficult, but as Bunbury told the media on Wednesday, "If you're a player and can't get up for games like this, moments like this, you're in the wrong business."

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Do New England Revolution have the talent to win 2020 MLS Cup?

Do New England Revolution have the talent to win 2020 MLS Cup?

After a breakout 2019 season, do the New England Revolution have enough talent to win the 2020 MLS Cup?

There are plenty of reasons to be hopeful of a strong campaign entering Saturday afternoon's season opener versus the Montreal Impact. One of them is the three-headed monster leading the Revolution attack -- Gustavo Bou, Carles Gil and Adam Buksa.

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Buksa arrived over the offseason for the second-largest transfer fee in club history (around $4 million, per reports). His addition gives the Revolution three designated players (the max for every MLS roster). Buksa stands 6-foot-3, making him dangerous in the air and a difficult player for opposing center backs to defend.

Bou joined the Revolution in July of last season and instantly made an impact with a goal in his debut against the Vancouver Whitecaps. He scored nine goals in 14 league games to help lead the Revs back to the MLS playoffs for the first time since 2015.

Check out the video below for former Revolution star Charlie Davies' take on the potential of this year's squad.

Bean: Why you should be excited for 2020 Revolution season

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Impact vs. Revolution, which begins Saturday at 3 p.m. followed by Revolution Postgame Live. You can also stream the game on the NBC Sports app.

Why you should be excited for the 2020 New England Revolution season

Why you should be excited for the 2020 New England Revolution season

The Revolution are back. 

After last season saw the additions of Bruce Arena, Carles Gil, Gustavo Bou and me, expectations should be high. As in title contender high.

Last year it was about getting the right people here. This summer was about adding to that. We'll start to see the results Saturday.

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Let me, a soccer genius, tell you why you should get in on this team from the beginning. 

THEY HAVE THREE DESIGNATED PLAYERS

A designated player is a player to whom the salary cap does not apply. In other words, it's a player you pay a ton because he's a star.

Examples of designated players over the years have included David Beckham and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

You're allowed to have three designated players. Some teams don't have any. Some have one or two. After signing Adam Buksa this offseason to join Gil and Bou, the Revolution have three. This team didn't used to spend, but they do now.

Let's spend a sec on each of these guys, then I'll make fun of NYCFC. 

THE DESIGNATED PLAYERS 

Gil joined the team last season and was named MLS Newcomer of the Year. He doesn't score a lot, but he rules. He's hurt right now but isn't expected to be out long. 

Bou (a.k.a. La Pantera; this is an actual nickname and not one of my silly things, so people will know what you're talking about if you call him that) was signed during the season last year and was awesome out of the gate. The 30-year-old forward had nine goals in 14 regular-season games for the Revs last season. He's my favorite player. I met him one time and he was super nice. 

The Revs signed Buksa from Poland this offseason. Charlie Davies told me this week he's a "goal-scorer" with "aerial prowess." Sounds incredible. Probably gonna score a crap-ton of goals. 

THEY HAVE A TEAM NAME

NYCFC is probably feeling like a bunch of cool guys entering the season, but just a reminder: They don't have a team name.

If your team name is "Football Club," it means they didn't know what to call your stupid team. It's like naming a baby "Baby."

The Revolution have an actual name because they're adults. 

THEY HAD A GOOD OFFSEASON

Buksa wasn't all the Revs added. They also went out and signed Alexander Büttner, who used to play for Manchester United.

The Revs brought back a couple guys who used to play for them in Kelyn Rowe and Seth Sinovic, while drafting Henry Kessler.

A FULL YEAR OF ARENA

If there's such thing as a "star coach," Arena is it.

The Revolution lost only five their final 24 games last year after Arena took over as head coach and sporting director midseason. He's now had an offseason to both supplement the roster, move the team into a new practice facility and prepare for an entire campaign. 

HERE COMES MATT TURNER

Matt Turner is the Tim Thomas of hockey. Yes, he's a good story (undrafted out of Fairfield), but at some point people talk less about the story because all they can talk about is how good they are.

That's where I think we're at with Turner, who was excellent in net for the Revs down the stretch last season and ended up getting the call to the U.S. Men's National Team last month. 

OTHER TEAMS TO FEAR 

The Revolution are MLS Cup contenders, but they're not the favorites. LAFC, Atlanta United (who knocked them out of the playoffs last year) and defending champ Seattle are all ahead of them.

ESPN.com has the Revs seventh in its power rankings, calling New England "one of the toughest teams to play against this season." 

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Impact vs. Revolution, which begins Saturday at 3 p.m. followed by Revolution Postgame Live. You can also stream the game on the NBC Sports app.