At this juncture last year, the New England Revolution were looking to set a new single-season points record in Major League Soccer. This year, they’re on the verge of missing the playoffs.
It’s not exactly the season you expected from the reigning Supporters’ Shield champions.
The Revolution are currently 11th in the Eastern Conference with a record of 9-12-11. They have two games left to play, but even consecutive wins—which they’ve only accomplished twice this season—won’t guarantee a playoff berth.
When asked to rate the performance of himself and his staff, Bruce Arena, who serves as head coach and sporting director, said, “I wouldn’t give us high grades because you’re judged on winning and losing.”
Arena later hinted that there are things behind the scenes that will be addressed going into 2023.
“Let me tell you this, I listen to sports talk radio and television in this town and I see the reactions to coaching and all of that,” Arena remarked. “There’s a lot of stuff behind the scenes that you guys generally are not aware of, but we’re aware of it. I don’t want to make things public. We’ll handle any matters in terms of getting our team better inside our team.”
Arena added, “There’s a number of things we can do better. Obviously, we lost some good players. We didn’t replace them the way we needed to. We had a lot of injuries. We made a lot of mistakes on the field and off and we have to get it better for next year.”
In terms of injuries, Dylan Borrero (563 minutes), Giacomo Vrioni (107 minutes), and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (0 minutes) saw limited time during the final stretch despite being acquired mid-season.
While Tajouri-Shradi is still working his way back from injury. Borrero and Vrioni are now back on the field. The hope is that a full off-season and preseason will be good for the young attackers.
“In all honesty, I think [Borrero and Vrioni] are players that we’re going to look at real hard next year,” Arena said. “We’ll get them into preseason, have them part of the team, and hopefully it’s going to make us a better team.”
Arena and the Revs are looking to end the year strong, regardless of what happens in the playoff race. The team had a good week and a half of training and is getting healthier, though they won’t be fully healthy this year.
“We want to finish the season on a high note and go into next year and have a preseason with this group of players and hopefully be prepared for a better 2023,” Arena told Zolak and Bertrand.