Though the Revolution defense faltered in 2016—conceding more goals than all but one MLS club—several players rose to the occasion by turning in hard-fought campaigns. Which defender stood out from the pack?
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1. Andrew Farrell
2016 state line: 33 appearances (32 starts), 2,891 minutes, 1 assist
It's time to praise Farrell for his durability. In each of his four MLS seasons, he has made 32 starts and topped 2,800 minutes. This durability proved vital in 2016, with defensive mainstays Chris Tierney and Jose Goncalves missing a combined 13 starts.
Farrell ultimately earned an all-star selection for his play during the first half of the season, becoming the first Revolution player to appear in the All-Star game since Shalrie Joseph in 2011. During a season of defensive inconsistencies, Farrell provided plenty of stability.
2. Brad Knighton
2016 state line: 13 starts, 2 shutouts, 31 saves, 6-5-1 record
When Bobby Shuttleworth went down with a mid-season injury, Knighton finally got his chance to steal the starting spot. He never looked back, helping the Revs to six wins in 13 starts.
Knighton may not have played his way into a guaranteed starting role in 2017—he'll have to fend off Shuttleworth and youngster Cody Cropper to earn starts—but his clean, intelligent play served as a rare bright spot for the Revolution defense. He finished 2016 with a 6-5-1 record, 31 saves and a pair of shutouts, by far his most productive season since joining the Revs in 2014.
3. Gershon Koffie
2016 state line: 22 appearances (19 starts), 4 assists, 5 shots on goal
In 2016, Koffie added much-needed physicality to the Revolution midfield. He bullied opposing attackers, looked strong over the ball and even offered creativity moving forward, collecting four assists.
Had he stayed healthy in 2016, Koffie would undoubtedly be in the conversation for Revolution MVP. Ensuring he doesn't flee to Europe will be a top priority for the Revs front office this off-season.
4. Scott Caldwell
2016 stat line: 32 appearances (31 starts), 3 assists, 86.8 passing percentage
Mr. consistency turned in another solid campaign, anchoring a defensive midfield that—much like the Revolution back line—featured several different personnel groupings. But whether Caldwell lined up beside Daigo Kobayashi, Kelyn Rowe or Gershon Koffie, he regularly offered intelligent decision making and clean passing out of the middle of the park.
During a down year for the Revolution defense, Caldwell stayed the course, again reminding supporters of the stability he provides.