It's the most wonderful time of the year—when trades, signings and rumors provide hope ahead of a new MLS season. While many clubs have gifted their fans with new talent, the Revolution have stayed put, re-signing club legend Chris Tierney and one-time supersub Steve Neumann. We want more.
So, in the spirit of Christmas, we put together a wish list for the 2016 Revolution season. Who—or what—tops our list?
Nick: A right back who can immediately make a difference.
London Woodberry made great strides in 2015. And Darrius Barnes has proven, when healthy, to be a solid spot starter. But if the Revolution want to progress in 2016, Mike Burns must bring in a legitimate right back—like, say, USMNT youngster Ventura Alvarado, who was recently transfer listed by Club America. While he's unlikely to come to the U.S., and ultimately sign with the Revolution (he's reportedly worth $1.6 million), he tops my Christmas wish list. A rising defender with international experience and the ability to play all three defensive positions would become an instant difference maker for this club. I'll keep dreaming.
Seth: A soccer specific stadium.
I'll be the one who states the obvious: the Revs need a soccer specific stadium. Attendance is on the rise for the Revolution, but fandom will never reach it's full potential without a permanent home in an urban setting. We got unconfirmed tidbits throughout 2015 about the Kraft family eyeing a spot in South Boston. Let's go further in 2016 by announcing official plans and maybe even putting shovels in the ground (Okay, I think I've gone too far).
Matty: A tall, physical, MLS veteran center back
Having personally stood next to Andrew Farrell, I'm convinced he's just not big enough. The fact that he did so well should be considered a testament to how special an athlete he is. Grab a taller, more physical center back, slide Farrell back to right back and then, profit.
I want to see the club that was one game away from MLS Cup again. Since that game, there have been no significant new additions to the Revolution, and the return of Juan Agudelo doesn't count as "new." A team that is constantly embroiled in contract disputes with its top players still hasn't found a replacement defensively for A.J. Soares—but has enjoyed a two-year attendance bump of 33 percent from 2013 and a franchise record 26,000-plus attendance in the playoffs. The more than 19,500 average attendance at Gillette Stadium is the second-highest for the Revolution in franchise history—behind only 1997's 21,000-plus average—yet the Revolution front office has done nothing to secure the growing fanbase on the field.
While the Revolution sat on their laurels in 2015, every contender in the Eastern Conference made a significant signing in either the preseason or midseason windows except the Revolution. With Jermaine Jones seemingly on his way out and no replacement for the $3 million DP in sight, there is no reason for the fans to expect Jones' salary to be reinvested elsewhere. Which is shame, since the young core the Revs have drafted and developed the past few years under Jay Heaps is as good as any in the league.
Abram: Season tickets in the fort for Dan Shaughnessy.
The truth is, my dear, dear friend Dan is more in need of holiday cheer than am I. He has curmudgeonly been attacking the Revolution since sometime around 1996. Even in the heart of last year's playoff run, poor Dan was saying how no one cared about the Revs. Perhaps, a gift of season tickets, where he could sit with supporters who do are about the team would let him feel the love and make his small heart grow three sizes. Who knows? And even if he turned them down, I'd be happy to take them off his cold, heartless hands.
What about you? Who—or what—tops your holiday wish list? Drop a comment below.