5. The creation of Revolution II
The Revolution desperately needed an affiliate in a lower division as a way of linking their academy to the first team. Sending young players—such as Issac Angking and Justin Rennicks—on long-term loans to teams several states away was a poor system. These athletes need to be close by so that their development can be closely tracked. This will finally happen now that the Revs have a second team.
4. The 11-game unbeaten streak
It felt like the Revolution’s season was over by the time Brad Friedel was fired. The results weren’t there, leaving many to wonder if it was time to blow up the team. Then came the unbeaten run. Mike Lapper and Bruce Arena (more on him later) got the boys to believe again and with them came the fans. There was a moment when some optimistically pondered if the Revs would ever lose again.
3. The additions of Carles Gil and Gustavo Bou
It might be a bit cheap to combine these two signings since they happened during different eras. That said, they’re now so closely tied together that I think it’s appropriate that they share an entry. The quality of both players was seen immediately. Gil is the midfield maestro who arrived before the season started and Bou is a clinical finisher who came during the summer. These two alone are all fans need to be excited about the future.
2. Michael Burns is relieved of his duties
Burns’ 14-year tenure as a member of the Revolution’s front office came to an end on May 13. The former defender was synonymous with the Revs, and that wasn’t necessarily a good thing. Agents and players often took aim at the Burns, noting that he was a shrewd negotiator (to put things kindly). Firing Burns was a sign that big changes were coming soon.
1. Bruce Arena is hired as the head coach and sporting director
The first big change of the post-Burns era was the arrival of Arena. Burns had to go after his former roommate failed as the team’s head coach. His replacement, however, could have been anyone. Hiring the winningest coach in USMNT history—a man who has also won five MLS Cups—was proof that this wasn’t the same ol Revolution.