Enjoy your cranberry sauce, stuffing and, of course, turkey, but let's be honest the only thing that will truly fulfill your hunger is a heaping helping of soccer. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait until Saturday to watch your beloved New England Revolution. Until then you could play a special holiday edition of Fill in the Blank.
This week's sentence: Revolution fans should be most thankful for ____.
Seth: The Patience Approach
Three years ago, the Revolution Front Office went through a reorganization. Brian Bilello became the club's president, Michael Burns was appointed as the General Manager and Jay Heaps was hired to succeed longtime coach Steve Nicol. While there have certainly been some growing pains since the appointments, the team is experiencing great success now. The slow build brought better results each year as the team found its identity and signed the appropriate players. In a time where clubs can be too hasty (cough, TFC, cough), the Revs showed a lot of faith and poise and it has certainly paid off.
Hemming: The Vancouver Whitecaps Front Office
In early 2012, when news broke of Lee Nguyen's signing, I remember raising an eyebrow at his more-than-solid resume: experience with Randers and PSV Eindhoven, plus a brief run with the United States. At the time, the Revs had transitioned away from long-time skipper Steve Nicol, landing Nguyen in the midst of a major rebuild. Little did I know, the Revs had just signed the cornerstone of the club--fresh off a three-game preseason stint with the 'Caps. Had Martin Rennie and Vancouver's front office given Lee more of a shot, or honed into his potential, the Revs would have missed out on a player who almost immediately gained legend status in New England. I'm still waiting for a "legitimate" All-Star appearance, and an MVP award, but man am I thankful the 'Caps missed out.
Jake: Each Other
It's been a pretty amazing journey for me over the last year and a half since I embraced the 21st century by joining Twitter and other digital outlets. I've been lucky enough to not only continue writing about soccer over the last year or so, but also interact with a community that is just as crazy as I am about soccer, and more importantly, the New England Revolution. The amount of people I've gotten to know over Twitter, through podcasts and in person when I actually get off my couch and go to a game in person, which I admit is a rare occasion, is outstanding. The support this team has gotten over the last few months in particular has been extraordinary, and I was proud to be one of the many at Red Bull Arena last Sunday who showed up early, stayed late and made a whole lot of noise and saw the Revs win for the first time in Harrison.
Casale: The Jermaine Jones Project
Growing up as an avid Revolution fan, it was always frustrating to think the the Revs were considered to be dead last amongst all the New England teams, no matter how well they did. I could accept that fact though, because I knew that soccer just hasn't caught fire the way other sports in the US have. However, the one thing I could not accept was how the Front Office and organization as whole never seemed to care about making this team any better - especially when I started to see rapid growth across MLS. Fortunately, everything changed this year when the FO decided to step up and sign Jones. Not only does he help the team in the short term, but the very fact that he is here playing in Foxboro is sign that New England is ready to be a leading image in the growth of the sport. And the best part is: We were all there to see it happen. And for that, I am thankful!
MLSSoccer.com is using the hashtag "#ThanksToSoccer" all day so feel free to tweet us your responses using the hashtag or post your thoughts in the comment section below. And of course, Happy Thanksgiving!