The New England Revolution will be looking for retribution in 2022. After an early exit in the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs courtesy of eventual champions NYCFC, Bruce Arena and company will look to finally win an MLS Cup and bring The Philip F. Anschutz Trophy back to Gillette Stadium, but eventual losses of Matt Turner and Adam Buksa have the fanbase wondering if they can actually pull it off.
New England Revolution (22-7-5, 1st, Knocked out in Eastern Conference Semifinals by NYCFC)
Head coach: Bruce Arena
Key additions: Sebastian Lletget, Omar Gonzalez, Jozy Altidore, Ryan Spaulding.
Key losses: Tajon Buchanan, Scott Caldwell, Matt Turner (in the summer).
Projected Best XI: (4-4-2 (Diamond): Turner; Jones, Kessler, Farrell, Bye; Polster, Lletget, Gil, Traustason; Bou; Buksa)
Best offseason move: While United States Men’s National Team fans might beg to differ, the addition of Sebastian Lletget is a big one. He adds some playmaking ability to the midfield that was desperately in need of some. The acquisition of Lletget likely means that Tommy McNamara heads to the bench was ideally the role you want him to play.
Best reason to pay attention: As you read above, New England is bringing back the majority of its Supporters’ Shield winning roster, including 2021 MVP Carles Gil. With Bruce Arena giving the squad even more experience with Lletget, Gonzalez and Altidore, the Revs seem primed for an MLS Cup run in 2022. The fact that it seems likely that New England doesn't come first in the Eastern Conference likely helps its chances of finally lifting the ever-elusive Philip F. Anschutz Trophy.
The one glaring weakness: While New England has some time to plan for this, the eventual absence of Matt Turner in net is a major one. Unless the Revs shell out some coin to acquire a goalkeeper like Ethan Horvath (which is rather unlikely), the goalkeeping department will be taking a slight hit (even acquiring Horvath is a minor step back). Arena could also opt to stick with an in-house option such as Brad Knighton, Jacob Jackson, or Earl Edwards Jr. No matter who ends up replacing Turner, New England’s back line will need to perform much better in 2022 as they won’t have the Gunner to bail them out come playoff time.
One fact you can use to impress your friends: In 2021, New England went 12-0-0 when Scott Caldwell made an appearance.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe character who most personifies this team: Vision
“Incredibly powerful but gets demolished when it counts,” - Steve Stoehr