The stability-finding revolution after the initial turmoil, the high-profile departure

New England Revolution

With the summer transfer window approaching, New England may be looking to make one more addition.

Dylan Borrero looks to the sky after scoring the first goal of the Revolution in a 2-1 comeback win versus Minnesota United. Mark Stockwell / The Greeley Tribune Globe

In the seven months since securing the first Supporters Shield in the club’s history in the midst of the biggest regular season ever in Major League Soccer, Revolution have faced some difficult decisions.

New England head coach Bruce Arena built a keen and talented roster for the 2021 run, seeing many of his best players depart for Europe (football’s biggest stage at club level). To some extent it was a necessity.

Winger Tajon Buchanan, forward Adam Buxa and goalkeeper Matt Turner were the pillars of New England’s success a year ago. Each originated from a different country, arriving at Foxborough under different circumstances. But in their time under Arena, the common thread was that each player took great leaps in development, eventually attracting irresistible offers to play overseas.

Compared to local teams in other sports, Revolution faces the largely unique problem of competing for talent with clubs from around the world, some of which have bigger budgets and more prestige. So while the Celtics may be fairly confident of retaining the core of a young roster, Revolution must continually plan for a future that does not include the club’s current slate of stars.

Still, the recent pace of change has been particularly difficult. The 2022 season has reflected that, even as Buxa have played many of their first opening games $10 million transfer For French Club RC lenses. A disappointment in the CONCACAF Champions League in March – in which New England lost a 3-0 lead in the first leg against Mexican side Pumas in the quarter-finals – was complicated by significant injuries and inconsistency in MLS league games.

Arena’s team lost six out of seven (including a Champions League defeat at Mexico City), starting with a shocking second-half collapse against Real Salt Lake on 12 March. It was the worst ever of Arena’s tenure in New England, punctuated by a bevy of late goals surrendered by a disorganized defense.

Surrounded by early-season woes, Revolution has managed to summon a response. Since their 3–2 loss to DC United on April 23, New England has rediscovered its form in league games. In addition to the US Open Cup loss to New York City FC in May, Revolution has scored an unbeaten run in eight matches.

Asked about the character of the team at a recent press conference, Arena praised the togetherness of her team.

“I think for the most part in the two-and-a-half years, that’s been the specialty of our team,” he explained. “They play a good, tough 90-minute game-in and game-out. Obviously, no game is perfect, but they deal with the ups and downs very well. They’re a good group of people and they Play well together as a team.”

And while it hasn’t exactly been a dominant run – four draws, three of four wins coming by just one goal – it is a reaction to adversity that could prove to be season-saving.

Although more than half the season remains to be played, New England’s recent run has propelled the team back into playoff status.

Also, help has come in the form of new signings like 22-year-old Serbian goalkeeper Jordje Petrovic and 20-year-old Colombian winger. Dylan Borrero, Each made early contributions, with Borrero scoring his first MLS goal in a recent 2–1 comeback win against Minnesota United.

Other reinforcements may also be on the way, as the midseason transfer window opens on July 7.

Buxa’s exit resulted in an empty designated player spot on the Revolution’s roster (each team is allowed three). Should New England make a major money acquisition – deals for current designated player as well as forward Gustavo Bou and midfielder Carles Gil – the team technically has room for a contract under MLS rules.

yet despite Recent Comments From former Revolution forward (and ESPN commentator) Taylor Twelman that New England would “100% sign a designated player” specifically to forward Buxas, Arena has indicated that he may be looking at another spot on the field.

“How would he know that?” Asked about Twelman’s claim, Arena responded. “It’s not an accurate statement.”

“Naturally, we will use the next transfer window to hopefully supplement our roster,” Arena told reporters in June. “There are some positions we think we can consolidate. I’m not sure which one or a couple we’ll decide to fill, but we’re actively looking at possible transfer moves for the July window.

In the interim, Revolution will continue to deliver results on the field as Arena grapples with a never-ending cycle of player movement in world football’s complex ecosystem.

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