New year, new league for Revolution II as they prepare to switch from playing in USL League One to the newly formed MLS NEXT Pro League as they enter year three of competition. Here’s everything you need to know about Revolution II and MLS NEXT Pro as we enter the 2022 season.
MLS NEXT Pro currently consists of 21 independent and professional development teams with plans to expand over the coming years.
Revolution II will compete in the Northeast Division of the Eastern conference alongside Philadelphia Union II, New York City FC II, Toronto FC II, and Jamey Vardy’s Rochester New York FC.
Chicago Fire II, FC Cincinnati 2, Columbus Crew 2, Inter Miami FC II, and Orlando City B round out the rest of the Eastern Conference as they compete in the Central Division.
Colorado Rapids 2, Houston Dynamo 2, Minnesota United FC 2, North Texas SC, Sporting Kansas City II, and St. Louis City SC 2 will play in the Frontier Division of the Western Conference.
Portland Timbers 2, Real Monarchs, San Jose Earthquakes II, Tacoma Defiance, and Whitecaps FC 2 round out the Western Conference as they play in the Pacific Division.
MLS NEXT Pro rosters can have up to 35 players.
Slots 1 through 24 are designated for professional players and can include international players, domestic players, and players on loan.
Slots 25 through 35 are for amateur players. There’s also a maximum of five MLS NEXT youth players a team can have on the field during an official match.
To be considered an amateur player, the player must fall under all the league’s set criteria. Firstly, the player must be under the age of 21 before the official start of the season. They must also have not competed in any college or university program. The player must have never been signed or recognized as a professional player as defined by the NCAA and FIFA. Finally, the player must currently/previously played for the club’s MLS NEXT academy or a team with documented affiliation with the club.
An interesting component of MLS NEXT Pro rosters is that the league has no salary cap for teams.
Each team will play 24 regular-season matchups from March through September, with 12 home and 12 away matches.
An interesting component to MLS NEXT Pro is that regular-season matches will not end in ties. Games that finished tied at the end of 90 minutes will go to a shootout to determine the winner.
Both teams will earn one point if they come to a tie at the end of regulation. Teams will look to earn an additional point by winning the shootout.
Four teams from each conference will advance to the MLS NEXT Pro playoffs. All four division winners will make the playoffs. They will be joined in the playoffs by the runner-up in all four conferences.
The playoffs will consist of single-elimination games with the higher seed hosting. Seeding is determined by the highest number of points from the regular season.
With all the MLS NEXT Pro information out of the way, let’s look at Revolution II as they enter 2022.
Revs II in 2021:
Revolution II come into 2022 after finishing in 8th place in their last USL League One season with 37 points on an 11-13-4 record. Revs II was in the fight for a playoff spot towards the end of 2021, yet four losses in their final five games, especially their 1-0 loss to TFC II in the season finale, prevented Revs II from cracking the top six and making the playoffs.
Clint Peay returns for his third season at the helm of Revolution II. Peay holds an overall record of 16-21-7 throughout his three years with Revolution II.
Goalkeepers Yannik Oettl and Marzuq Puckerin, defenders Pierre Cayet, Sean O’Hearn, Colby Quiñones, midfielders Esmir Bajraktarevic, Michel Costa da Silva, Hikaru Fujiwara, Connor Presley, and forward Meny Silva all make their return to Revolution II.
Also, expect to see some first-team players make appearances throughout 2022. First team players like Edward Kizza, Justin Rennicks, Damian Rivera, Earl Edwards Jr., Brad Knighton, and more made appearances with Revolution II throughout the 2021 season.
While the organization has brought back many players from last year’s roster, the club also made six acquisitions during the offseason to help bolster the roster for 2022.
Defender Michael DeShields rejoins Revs II after signing with the club in November 2020. He did not make an appearance for the club before he joined D.C. United for their 2021 campaign. DeShields played his college ball at Wake Forest, where he logged over 4,000 minutes over 60 appearances.
Defender Ben Reveno joins Revs II after being selected by the Revolution with the 52nd overall selection in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft. Reveno joins the Revolution organization after spending three years with UCLA. Reveno clocked 1,570 minutes in the central defense and as an outside back during his time as a Bruin, where he netted one goal and six assists.
Defender José Ítalo comes to Revs II from Brazilian-side Flamengo, where he was a crucial member of their U-20 side in 2021. The 20-year-old left back appeared in 24 matches for Flamengo U-20 in 2021, where he clocked in 1,300 minutes of action.
Midfielder Ryan Lima joins Revs II from Brazilian-side Botafogo. Lima is the third Botafogo youth product to sign a professional contract with Revolution II. Lima made 29 appearances with Botafogo’s U-20 team, where he netted an impressive four goals while clocking in over 1,200 minutes.
Midfielder Trevor Zwetsloot joins Revs II from Australian-side Melbourne Knights, where he clocked in 295 minutes over four appearances in 2020-21. The 22-year-old defensive midfielder previously spent time with SV Werder Berman, where he made 11 appearances with the U-19 team and one for SV Werder Berman II. Zwetsloot also has experience at the international level with seven caps. Most came during the 2018 Oceania Football Confederation, where Zwetsloot scored the game-winner for New Zealand in the final.
Forward Marcos Dias joins Revs II on a one-year loan from Brazilian club Vasco. The 20-year-old forward has clocked over 3,700 minutes over 87 appearances, where he has netted an impressive 21 goals across all competitions.
Revs II Schedule:
As previously mentioned, Revs II will play 24 games in total in 2022, with 12 games at home and 12 games away.
For the first time in club history, Revolution II home games will be open to the public, with single-game and season tickets available via Ticketmaster. Every Revolution II match will stream on mlsnextpro.com.
Revs II kickoff their first MLS NEXT Pro match on Sunday, March 27th as they travel to Belson Stadium to take on New York City FC II at 5:00 PM ET.
The club’s first home-opener open to the public will take place on Sunday, April 3rd as they welcome Rochester New York FC to Gillette Stadium.
Introductory Press Conference:
On Wednesday, Head Coach Clint Peay, Damian Rivera, and Noel Buck had a chance to talk about the upcoming season with the media.
Peay emphasized how he feels joining MLS NEXT Pro will allow the relationship between the first team and the development team to become tighter. “I think obviously being more connected to the first team and MLS, the league itself is going to be exciting for our guys. They’re obviously all young guys who are striving to make it to the first team, so I think that the competitiveness of the games and the quality of the games will be high.”
One thing all three emphasized was the impact of having fans in the stands during games will be. Damian Rivera said having fans will “motivate us in a way to have fans in the stadium now, and I think it will push us throughout the year”. While Buck also talked about how having the fans there for motivation, he added that “Playing in front of fans is just really fun… I think it’s going to be vital to have fans.”
With just three days until Revolution II kicks off their 2022 season, it’s clear to see the hype building around the team and MLS NEXT Pro as a whole as well.