We are just one day away from the New England Revolution’s season opener against the Philadelphia Union and that means it’s time for some wild predictions! So, who will be the Revolution’s MVP in 2018? Here’s what our staff said.
Seth: Cristian Penilla
It’s a bit bold to pick a newcomer to win MVP, but I really liked what I saw of Penilla during preseason. More than a player with incredible speed, the Ecuadorian has shown some skill when the ball is at his feet. The Revs’ roster is full of talented players that struggle with consistency. I predict that Penilla will be the team’s most reliable attacker, which will earn him the MVP award.
Jonathan: Kelyn Rowe
Some players thrive under pressure, when they are finally put in a position to showcase their swagger and flair. That’s the precise situation Kelyn Rowe will find himself in during 2018, with the left back experiment days long gone and Brad Friedel placing a increased offensive responsibilities on the 26-year-old’s shoulders. He’s not a young gun anymore, either, and recent U.S. national team call-ups have done wonders for Rowe’s confidence. I predict somewhere around a 10-goal, 10-assist season from him.
Nick: Kelyn Rowe
Rowe’s breakout campaign arrived in 2013, when the UCLA alum contributed seven goals and eight assists. In the four seasons that followed, Rowe navigated a tricky situation in Foxboro, with roster holes forcing him to play virtually every position except goalkeeper.
But in 2018, all signs point toward another breakout campaign for the 26-year-old midfielder. He has played his best soccer in the number 10 role, which looks vacant (at least for the moment) while the Revolution deal with uncertainty around Lee Nguyen’s future. And in 2017, Rowe looked as creative as ever while featuring for the Revs and the U.S. Men’s National Team. A fresh start should lead to great things for the former first round pick.
Jake: Lee Nguyen
That’s right, I said it. Lee is still the MVP of this team, so as long as he’s still on the roster, he should be playing significant minutes in the middle of the field for New England. Sure Kelyn Rowe and Diego Fagundez would be competent fill-ins for a few games, but they can’t replace Nguyen’s productivity over the course of an entire season. Lee is one of the top playmakers/CAMs in MLS and even if he misses a few games early on in the season building up his fitness after holding out, he will make an impact on the field for the Revs.
Sean: Claude Dielna
Not often would I pick a defender for the most valuable player award but I believe that Dielna will be vital to any Revolution’s success this year. The Revolution have solid midfield and attacking options, but it’s going to come down to whether or not the Revolution can keep the ball out of the net. The addition of Dielna for a full-season will change our defense remarkably.
Bonus prediction from Jim: Lee Nguyen will be the league’s MVP after being traded
Your 2018 Major League Soccer Most Valuable Player is....Lee Nguyen. But, not as a player for the New England Revolution. Nguyen will be traded to the Philadelphia Union, where he will dazzle the league with skill and creativity. He will score 9 goals and dish out 11 assistant while turning around the Philadelphia franchise, making it a playoff contender. I mean, if we’re being bold, you might as well go all out.
Who will be the Revolution’s 2018 MVP?
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