Wells Thompson was there in 2007 when the New England Revolution last appeared in the Eastern Conference Final. In fact, he made a pretty significant impact.
While most avid fans remember the Taylor Twellman bicycle kick that pushed the Revs past the Chicago Fire and into the MLS Cup, it’s a little-known piece of trivia that Thompson was the one who registered the assist.
"There’s no way that he could do that bike if I didn’t cross it so well," Thompson joked in an interview with The Bent Musket.
A wide-eyed rookie in 2007, Thompson earned a spot in the starting lineup through his creative dribbling and relentless effort. After helping the Revolution to their first major championship by scoring the game-winning goal in the US Open Cup Final, Thompson hoped to add another trophy to the case.
Thompson would start all four of the Revolution’s playoff games that year, playing alongside league legends like Steve Ralston, Shalrie Joseph and Matt Reis. It was a whirlwind experience for the Wake Forest product.
"It just was a real blessing to be able to contribute during my rookie year," Thompson said. "I was just trying to learn from those guys, just trying to do the best I can."
Twellman’s bicycle kick goal, which Thompson calls "probably one of the best goals I’ve ever been a part of," was all the Revolution needed to advance to the MLS Cup. It would be their third consecutive championship appearance and the second straight time that they would face the Houston Dynamo.
Unfortunately for the Revs, history would repeat itself as they were beaten 2-1. It was a moment that Thompson admits "stings a little bit."
Thompson would ultimately capture the elusive MLS Cup in 2010 as a member of the Colorado Rapids team that made an expected run at the title. Despite his success, Thompson scoffed at the idea that there is one single key to winning a MLS ring. After noting that team form and health are essential ingredients, the midfielder reminded that the Rapids won on a fluke goal.
"In the final, we scored an own goal and Mac Kandji tore his ACL," Thompson remarked. "Things just kind of went our way and sometimes that happens. As far as what the key is? I have no idea."
While Thompson wasn’t able to provide the Revolution with advice that would guide them to the MLS Cup, he did offer the team his unquestioned support. Playing with the Revolution from 2007-2009, Thompson has nothing but fond memories in regards to the organization, players and fans. His one regret? Not winning a MLS Cup for New England.
"I wish we could have won," Thompson admitted. "I wish I could have been a better player when I played there.
"I wanted to play well for the fans and the city and the team—just everybody, especially the front office staff and the coaches because they believed in me and took such a gamble on me by drafting me."
Keep up to date with Wells Thompson by following him on Twitter (@WellsThompson) or liking his soccer program on Facebook (Wells Thompson Signature Soccer).