With only four days until the start of the 2020 campaign, the active roster-building offseason is complete for Bruce Arena. The roster, filled with new draft picks, a new DP, and an additional homegrown player, is just as diverse and interesting as it can get—and that holds true when it comes to the backgrounds and stories of the players. Here are nine facts about nine players on the Revolution roster to know before you see them walk onto the field for the MLS opener on Saturday, February 29th:
#1: When Seth Sinovic Got Drafted by the New England Revolution in 2010, He Was Watching the Draft on His Parent’s Couch. Alone.
Seth Sinovic’s path to professional soccer was anything but normal. Growing up, he only received one Division 1 offer, which he actually turned down, opting to walk on at Creighton University instead. When it came time for the MLS Combine, Sinovic’s failure to receive attention persisted; in fact, he was only interviewed by Real Salt Lake, who, according to the Kansas native, practically interviewed every combine attendee. So when it came time for the MLS Draft, Sinovic watched it alone on his parent’s couch. To his surprise, he was picked 25th overall by the New England Revolution.
#2: Matt Turner Never Played Competitive Soccer Until High School, and Didn’t Join a Club Team Until His Junior Year.
Growing up, Revs netminder Matt Turner considered basketball and baseball to be his two favorite sports—soccer was not in the picture. When he entered high school, he decided to play soccer to keep his fitness levels high for the upcoming basketball and baseball seasons. After a horrid first day of soccer tryouts, Turner almost quit; however, his Dad forced him to return for day two, which was when the goalie ahead of him got injured. The rest is history for Turner, who steadily improved throughout high school, and eventually earned an offer from Fairfield University, his alma mater.
#3: Teal Bunbury’s Dad, Alex Bunbury, is a Former Canadian National Team Standout
Teal Bunbury grew up with soccer around him. His father, Alex, played for nearly a decade in Europe. After an unsuccessful stint at West Ham United, Bunbury transferred to Portuguese side C.S. Marítimo, where he notched 59 goals, the most all-time for the club. For the Canadian national team, Bunbury sits eight in most appearances (66) and fifth in goals (16). For his services, he was inducted into Canada’s Soccer Hall of Fame in 2006.
#4: Diego Fagundez Has Decades of Professional Soccer in his Family
Similar to Teal Bunbury, Diego Fagundez has plenty of soccer in his family. His father, Washington Fagúndez, played professionally for Central Español in Uruguay, where he was a star goalkeeper. Today, Washington serves as an assistant men’s soccer coach at MIT.
Also, Diego’s godfather, Diego Dorta, played for the Uruguayan National Team and won the Copa América with the squad in 1995.
#5: Andrew Farrell Lived in Perú for Ten Years as a Child, as His Adoptive Parents were Presbyterian Missionaries
Despite being born in Louisville, Andrew Farrell spent the majority of his formative years in Perú; when he was five, he moved there with his parents, who were both Presbyterian missionaries. While in Perú, Farrell played for a local academy team, Esther Grande de Bentín. When he was fifteen, he moved back to Louisville, where he completed his high school degree.
#6: Carles Gil’s Younger Brother, Nacho, Plays in the Second Division of Spanish Soccer
The 2019 MLS Newcomer of the Year, Carles Gil, grew up playing soccer with his younger brother, Nacho. Similar to Carles, Nacho is a gifted player who was developed in Valencia’s academy. In February of 2017, Nacho made his first team debut for top-flight side Valencia in a 2-1 away loss. In July of 2019, Valencia terminated Nacho’s contract; shortly after, Nacho signed for second division squad, SD Ponferradina, where he has amassed 1,336 minutes so far this season.
#7: Kelyn Rowe Was Being Heavily Scouted by an Unnamed Israeli Premier League Side in 2018
Back in June of 2018, an Israeli Premier League side iterated their interest for Revs midfielder Keyln Rowe. The unnamed side had sent a scout to watch Rowe compete for both the Revolution and the US Men’s National team shortly before the interest was conveyed. Once the team began talking to the Revs, it didn’t take Rowe long to disagree to terms of a contract, and hence an offer was never officially made.
#8: Tajon Buchanan Left his Family as a Child to Follow his Soccer Coach to Colorado
Tajon Buchanan, a Toronto native, spent a lot of time with Chrys Chrysanthou, his childhood club coach and father to his best friend, Anthony. Chrysanthou took Buchanan and his teammates on several road trips to the United States, which is where Buchanan discovered his dream school, Syracuse.
In 2015, the Chrysanthou family announced that they would be moving to Colorado, and Buchanan pleaded to join. In pursuit of lofty academic and athletic goals, Buchanan saw this move as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Once in Colorado, Tajon and Anthony scored roster spots at the Real Colorado academy team, where Tajon excelled. Two years later, he enrolled at Syracuse, where he would go on to record 12 goals and 6 assists across two seasons.
#9: New Draft Pick Henry Kessler Finished High School in Two Years
Newcomer Henry Kessler is a man of many talents; not only does he impress on the soccer pitch, but he also shines in the classroom. In high school, Kessler completed all of his graduation requirements in two years. His junior and senior years of high school, the New York native attended classes at Bard College, where he earned an associate’s degree before even stepping foot into a UVA classroom.