The New England Revolution pulled out a win out of their bag of tricks on Saturday night.
After going down early to the New York Red Bulls, New England managed to get their first regular season win at Red Bull Arena against the club.
While the three Designated Players will continue to get the love, two players have been flying under the radar. DeJuan Jones and Brandon Bye are having impressive seasons.
Bye has both improved as a defender as well as on the attack. His crosses seem to be connecting more and that shows with his two assists so far this season. Every ball he sends into the box seems to lead to a goal scoring opportunity for the Revs.
For Jones he has just stepped his game up to the next level. In particular the use of his left foot has increased and his pace continues to cause fits for his opponents.
This continued for the duo as Bye notched a goal in New Jersey and DeJuan Jones also notched an assist on Saturday night.
Especially with the play of Matt Turner and Tajon Buchanan, Jones and Bye haven’t been the focus of fans (besides Mat Marbies who is the world’s biggest DeJuan Jones fan). The fact that Jones has outplayed Christian Mafla is definitely a pleasant surprise to this writer while Bye seems to be getting better every game.
After the win, Andrew Farrell was asked about what he has seen from the outside backs this season.
He said, “I’ve been saying it – Brandon has been one of the best outside backs in the league. It’s hard for people to see – I mean, you see the assists and the goals that he’s scored this year – but he’s talking a lot more. He’s a lot more vocal on the field, which helps center backs, the midfielders, and the guys in front of him, which is a huge thing. I think it’s a step that he’s taken. DeJuan as well. Sometimes he’ll have a mistake, but then he’ll get back into it. Those guys, the things that they help us with going forward is unbelievable. It helps our offense so much. But then the pace and the defense, getting back and helping support the center backs, supporting the d-mids [defensive midfielders], and their communication, it keeps on getting better and better.”
Seeing the team perform like this without players such as Buchanan and Turner should have Revolution fans excited. New England’s starting XI constantly instills fear in opponents. Also with Buchanan possibly being sold by the beginning of next season, having players like Jones and Bye ensure that the club can still compete even if they decide to reap the rewards of the players they have developed.
Jones and Bye haven’t been perfect this season, but it has been a treat to watch them improve in front of our eyes.