Revolution

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.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

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.

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.

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

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.”