The New England Revolution haven’t made the playoffs since 2015—a trend they’ll certainly want to buck this season. What do the Revs need to do in order to make this a reality? Here’s what our staff has to say:
Seth: Add a game-changing attacker
Cristian Penilla was the Revolution’s best attacker in 2018, as he used his speed and quick footwork to deceive defenders. The Ecuadorian finished the year with 12 goals and seven assists. These are impressive numbers but I can’t help but feel that he has more to give.
To help Penilla achieve his potential, the Revs need to add another dynamic attacker. This would take some attention off of Penilla and create a more balanced offense for the Revolution. This attacker could be a right midfielder or a No. 10.
Sean: Add a quality attacking midfielder
A lot of focus in years past has been put onto defensive reinforcements, which was well warranted. Acquiring left-back Edgar Castillo from Colorado and multiple center-back additions over the past two seasons, the focus should shift to upgrading the attack even more.
The loan signing of Juan Caicedo should be followed with signing an attacking midfielder that can complement both Caicedo and Cristian Penilla. The Revs often became too easy to defend, so adding a bit of skill and unpredictability of where our attacks will go through could be the difference of making or missing the playoffs.
Josh: Consistency from the defense
At multiple points last season, the Revs defense was lackluster at best, which made things difficult for whoever was in goal. If the Revs are going to find success in 2019 they will need to have consistency along the back line. This all starts with having reliable starters week-in and week-out.
Jake: A $5 Million DP Holding Midfielder
Not too long ago, the Revolution added a legit Designated Player—the only one in their history in my opinion—during the summer and immediately took a team with a lot of very solid pieces into a MLS Cup worthy squad. New England I don’t think is that far off from that previous 2014 team at least as far as attackers go (the defense is another story...). Luis Caicedo and Scott Caldwell are solid but they are not the ball winning physical forces the Revs need to really use Brad Friedel’s pressing style to the fullest. A big time CDM in front of the Revs rotating centerback pairings might add a little more stability to a backline that has been at times dreadful the past few years. I think the Revs can do enough offensively with Penilla, Bunbury, Agudelo, Fagundez, etc., up front if there’s a big time player in the middle helping out on both sides of the ball.