The New England Revolution will report to training camp in a few weeks but there are still some areas of the roster that they need to strengthen according to head coach and sporting director Bruce Arena.
Arena spoke to the media after the conclusion of the 2023 MLS SuperDraft on why New England selected two center backs in the final two rounds.
“I think that’s an area we need to strengthen on our roster,” Arena said. “We need some depth there. We could be better there. It was a position last year we had difficulty with. We had injuries to [Andrew] Farrell a little bit, but [Henry] Kessler for a fair amount, and Jon Bell who is now with St. Louis. So, we needed to strengthen the position and we drafted two players out of the college ranks with a good background that if they acclimate themselves quickly, have a chance to help our team.”
The Revs selected Victor Souza in the second round and Andreas Ueland in the third round. Souza (Boston College) finished his collegiate career with 48 appearances, all starts, and nearly 4,400 minutes played. The 6’2” center back earned two selections to the All-ACC Third Team as well as ACC All-Freshman Team honors in 2019.
Ueland (Virginia) tallied over 6,700 minutes across 73 appearances, all starts, and finished with eight goals and three assists. He was named 2022 ACC Defensive Player of the Year and has been capped by the Norwegian national team up until the U-20 level.
New England currently have Christian Makoun, Omar Gonzalez, and Ben Reveno returning at CB for the 2023 season along with Farrell and Kessler. With training camp starting on January 9th for New England, time is starting to run out for the Revolution to make any more moves to bolster this position. If they were to look outside MLS to fill this need whoever they acquire would need some time to get acclimated and ready for the regular season.
Arena did allude that these young players could make an impact on the roster quickly depending on how well they adjust. If the current roster is who New England sticks with at the position, Souza or Ueland could make their MLS debuts at some point this season.