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Bruce Arena has some decisions to make ahead of Eastern Conference Finals

Speaking to the media ahead of Sunday’s matchup against the Columbus Crew, Bruce Arena pointed out that we could see some changes in the starting XI.

MLS: New England Revolution at Orlando City SC Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

In recent games, Bruce Arena has had to make do with what he has. Alexander Buttner was out due to Covid-19 and Brandon Bye had an injury. Now it seems like Arena has some tough decisions to make.

Buttner is healthy and trained with the team this past week. It seems as though he will be ready for Sunday’s matchup.

That will be a big lift for the team. Buttner’s crossing ability is impeccable and he is a great addition on the attack.

Also, we have seen Brandon Bye play against Orlando last Sunday so it’s clear that he is healthy enough to play. With a full week of training, could Bye return to the starting XI?

While Bye and Buttner have been missing, Buchanan has stepped up and made the transition to RB. He has done well going up against some quality players including Nani down in Orlando.

Bruce Arena was asked about the experience of his back line, but also might have indicated that some changes could be coming to the starting XI.

He said. “DeJuan [Jones] has played a fair amount throughout the season. Tajon [Buchanan] obviously hasn’t played much as a right back, but we have Brandon Bye back as well, so we have some decision to make in terms of our lineup.”

For most of the regular season, we saw Bye and Buttner get the starts. Seeing these players return to the starting XI wouldn’t be too surprising.

But if Buchanan didn’t line up at right back you would have to take out either Teal Bunbury, Matt Polster, or Scott Caldwell to make room for Buchanan higher up on the field.

So Arena definitely has some tough decisions to make. Does he try and not rock the boat and adopt the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality or does he make some changes? Revolution fans will just have to wait until Sunday to find out.