In 2016, first-round SuperDraft Jordan McCrary never made a regular-season appearance for the Revolution. But for a few other Revs youngsters, 2016 served as a year of growth and development.
Which player put himself in the best position to emerge as a future star? We offer four options below. Take a look—and cast your vote for the Revs’ “Rising Star” of 2016:
1. Femi Hollinger-Janzen
2016 stat line: 19 appearances (1 start), 2 goals, 10 shots
Femi, a 2016 third-round SuperDraft pick, became an instant fan favorite once supporters uncovered his inspiring story. But throughout his rookie campaign, he refused to be labeled as a reserve with nothing more than a powerful testimony.
After making a handful of early-season appearances, the 23-year-old forward scored his first career goal on May 14th vs. Chicago. Two weeks later, he netted an 80th-minute game-winner against Seattle. A groin injury ultimate derailed much of his season, though Femi’s grit and attacking confidence still left its mark on the 2016 Revolution season.
Though Femi may never develop into a week-in, week-out starter, he has all the tools he needs to become an attacking supersub for years to come.
2. Cody Cropper
2016 stat line: 1 start, 0 goals allowed, 2 saves, 1-0-0 record
With just one start under his belt, Cropper has a way to go in his quest to become an MLS starter. But his resume alone offers plenty of intrigue.
Before joining the Revs, Cropper spent two years with Southampton F.C. in the Premier League and two years with Milton Keynes Dons in the EFL Championship. He now serves as the youngest of seven active MLS goalkeepers to have spent time in senior-level U.S. Men’s National Team camps.
With Bobby Shuttleworth coming off a underwhelming season, Cropper appears in line to compete for the Revs’ top goalkeeping spot. Could his lone start—a shutout on October 23 against Montreal—set the stage for a successful career in Foxboro?
3. Juan Agudelo
2016 stat line: 24 appearances (14 starts), 7 goals, 5 assists, 18 shots on goal
Agudelo is no stranger to “rising star” lists. As a teenager, he broke on to the international stage, contributing three goals and three assists in 20 appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team. But during stateside stints with the Red Bulls and Chivas USA, Agudelo failed to fully catch fire, never scoring more than six goals in an MLS season.
Now in his second stint with the Revs, Agudelo appears to have found his stride. When healthy, his individual skill and finishing ability torched opposing defenses. He ultimately claimed the Revs’ Golden Boot award by scoring seven goals in just 14 starts. Consider Agudelo a veteran rising star; this time, he appears to have finally caught fire.
4. Zachary Herivaux
2016 stat line: 5 MLS appearances, 4 U.S. Open Cup appearances, 1 U.S. Open Cup goal
After earning much praise as a Revs Academy standout, Herivaux signed with the Revolution in 2015 and made his regular-season debut this past March.
Though Herivaux was limited to 38 minutes of league play in 2016, he flashed his potential during the U.S. Open Cup, appearing in all four Revolution wins. On June 15, he scored his first professional goal against the Carolina RailHawks, a 103rd-minute game-winner that sent the Revs through to the fifth round of the U.S. Open Cup.
Herivaux will likely need to bide his time to earn regular starts, with Xavier Kouassi, Scott Caldwell and Gershon Koffie all ahead of him on the off-season depth start. But in 2016, he showed glimpses of the scrappy, skillful midfielder fans expect him to become.
Stay tuned as we continue to unveil nominees for our 2016 Revolution Player Awards.