The New England Revolution made their first move of the offseason (well, not including their end of season moves). The club seems to have some plans for Defender Jon Bell in 2021.
The Revolution acquired Bell’s MLS rights from the San Jose Earthquakes for a fourth-round selection in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft.
Now Bell should be a familiar face for Revolution fans. The defender spent 2020 playing for Revs II down in USL League One.
Bell was one of the standout players in Clint Peay’s squad. He appeared in all but one match in the 2020 season which shows how much trust Peay had in the University of Maryland defender.
Naturally, Bell is a left back but he played a majority of the season at center back for the first time in his soccer career. That versatility will surely be an asset to the first team.
With Antonio Delamea being out of contract and Michael Mancienne not having his contract option exercised, Bell is a solid depth addition at center back. Still, the defender could return to left back.
Bell is primarily left footed which is crucial after what fans saw out of DeJuan Jones in the postseason. Jones relies on his right foot a lot compared to a player like Alexander Buttner who can make plays on the attack with ease.
Near the end of the Revs 2020 season, fans saw how stretched thin the backline was. Tajon Buchanan was forced to switch from the midfield to right back due to injuries.
While Buchanan did well and Bruce Arena said that we could still see Buchanan at right back in the future, his game is suited towards the midfield and focused open the attack. Having Bell would ensure that they have a failsafe in case of injuries throughout the season.
Bell is likely the first of multiple moves as Arena stated after the club’s loss to the now MLS Cup champions, Columbus Crew that they wanted to acquire two or three starting caliber players.
It will be interesting to see if Bell is loaned to Revs II similar to Colin Verfuth next season, but his services definitely could be used in New England next season.