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New England Revolution 2014: Five Reasons For Supporters To Hold Their Heads High

Following a gut-wrenching MLS Cup defeat at the hands of Robbie Keane and the LA Galaxy, we offer five reasons to stay proud this offseason.

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1. We've Come So Far

Just two years ago, the Revolution completed a third consecutive losing season, earning just 35 points in a ninth-placed effort. We tried to get behind the signing of Fernando Cardenas, the momentary brilliance of Blake Brettschneider and the scrappy play of Juan Toja, though our inner-fanhood kept expectations at bay. The future always seemed brighter than the present.

Thankfully, in his second season as Head Coach, Jay Heaps made this team his own. Juan Agudelo joined as a much-needed headline player, Jose Goncalves anchored the league's top defense and, to our surprise, we qualified for the postseason. Never mind a first-round exit: this team stormed into the playoffs and entered 2014 with renewed confidence.

Now just days after taking the Galaxy to extra time in the MLS Cup Final, we can only look back with gratitude. We have a roster with a bonfa fide MVP candidate, a Designated Player who offers unmatched two-way skill and a core of young players who seem poised to mature this offseason. The present looks appealingly bright.

2. We're  Making Strides Toward a Soccer-Specific Stadium

Over the past few years, we've uncovered a dozen-and-a-half potential locations for the Revs first true home: Somerville, Providence, South Boston. But in recent weeks, the rumors have gained traction, leading us to believe that a stadium may be in the works.

Most recently, Investor/Operator Jonathan Kraft addressed the topic, stating, "[The Revolution] belong in Boston or the surrounding area...we're hopeful that in the near future something will be able to happen."

We've been through this before--crossing our fingers for a Boston-based stadium--only to be let down in the end by another false alarm. But this time, the rumors seem more credible than ever before. Could the Kraft family be on to something?

3. We Protected Our Core

Last week, when all but two teams finalized preparations for the 2014 Expansion Draft, we started to fret about the future. Can we protect Chris Tierney and Teal Bunbury? Will we lose Kevin Alston? Which headline player will hit the road?

Thanks to a string of confusing roster movesthe Revolution have calmed our fears (though they've also raised a few questions about Geoffrey Castillion's value). Sure, the impending loss of Patrick Mullins will sting, though Brian Bilello and his staff have already minimized the draft's impact.

4. We Have An Exceptional Fan Base

Contrary to what a certain curly-haired reporter believes, this fan base has all but turned Boston into a five-sport city. First, we turned heads at Red Bull Arena, bussing nearly 1,200 fans to Harrison, New Jersey; then, we took care of business at home, welcoming 32,698 fans to Gillette Stadium. Add two inventive tifo's and a pair of passionate supporter groups, and you uncover a city on fire for American soccer. Still not convinced? In 2007, during the Revs fourth MLS Cup run of the decade, the team drew a semifinal home crowd of 10,300. Continued success will only feed into Boston's passion for the beautiful game.

5. We Have Brad Feldman

Thankfully, we didn't need to protect the voice of the Revolution ahead of tomorrow's expansion draft. Feldman endured the worst of this team's struggles and stayed faithful, providing us with poetic calls that will stick with us forever. Our personal favorite:

"Jermaine! Jermaine! Jermaine!"

Here's to an even deeper run in 2015, and to another year of the great Brad Feldman, the most beloved announcer in Major League Soccer.

Why will you hold your head high this offseason? Continue the conversation below.