While it’s clear that Juan Agudelo and Kei Kamara are the top-choice strikers for the New England Revolution, there’s a bit of competition further down the depth chart.
Femi Hollinger-Janzen is in his second year with the Revs and although he’s been a regular in the game-day 18 he’s only played 114 minutes. Rookie Brian Wright, who has only made the bench twice, is eager to usurp Femi’s spot and strengthened his case on Wednesday by scoring the game-winner in a U.S. Open Cup win over D.C. United.
So, has Wright passed Femi on the depth chart?
To survive as an MLS backup, it's important to take advantage of every opportunity that arises. That's what Femi did last year, when he developed a cult following for scoring goals in big spots. He ended his rookie season with one game-winning goal and one forced own goal that helped the Revs preserve a draw.
But this season, Femi has struggled to replicate his 2016 heroics. Through eight appearances (114 minutes), he has yet to record a goal or an assist while putting just one of his four shots on frame. And though the sample size is undeniably small, Femi has yet to do what he did so well last year: score goals and create opportunities in small pockets of time.
The sample size is even smaller for Wright. He has yet to appear in a league match and has spent most of the season on loan with the Tulsa Roughnecks (USL). But much like Femi in 2016, Wright immediately made a difference with the minutes given to him. After warming up to Wednesday's U.S. Open Cup match, he broke through a formidable D.C. United lineup, scoring a game-winning goal while nearly connecting on two others.
There's no telling if Wright would replicate this performance during a regular-season start or appearance. But it's a fast-paced league with limited minutes to go around. And Wright has taken advantage of his.
Wright's performance against D.C. United was impressive. He did a nice job holding up the ball, drew an important foul that lead to Diego Fagundez's free kick goal, and collected a tally of his own. That said, Femi has experience on his side.
This is Femi's second season with the Revs. During his rookie campaign, he nabbed two goals and one assist in 273 minutes. This lead to him being picked by Minnesota United FC in the Expansion Draft. A known commodity to the Revs coaching staff, Femi found his way back to Foxboro via a trade that sent Bobby Shuttleworth the other way. Jay Heaps and company know that Femi is full of energy and eager to impressive. More than that, he's scored goals in league play.
Femi's versatility is another factor to consider. The University of Indiana product can play as a striker or out on the wing. So far Wright as only been deployed as a forward. With Agudelo and Kamara being the top two choices to herald the attack, Wright and Femi will most likely get their chances off the bench. If everyone is healthy and available, it's unlikely that both players make the game-day 18. At this point, Femi's versatility gives him the edge.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know what you think by voting in our poll or leaving a comment below.
Has Wright passed Femi on the depth chart?
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