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Three bold predictions about the Revolution in 2019

We’re expecting big things from Justin Rennicks in 2019.

The 2019 MLS season is right around the corner and that means it’s time to make bold predictions that we’ll probably regret by mid-season. Here’s what our staff thinks will happen to the New England Revolution this year.

Seth: Diego Fagundez will sign a contract extension

There are rumors out there that 2019 will be Fagundez’s last year in New England. The 24-year-old Homegrown has expressed interest in leaving MLS and is in the final years of his contract. During the off season, Fagundez was courting by Nacional in Uruguay, though the seriousness of that talk depends on who you talk to.

I’m predicting that this is all for naught and that Fagundez will sign a long-term contract. On the Feb. 28 edition of State of the Revs, General Manager Michael Burns said that the club didn’t receive any formal offers for Fagundez during the off season. He also stated that he hopes Fagundez is with the Revolution for a long time.

Fagundez is currently underpaid and I think a pay bump will keep him in New England, where he’ll be close to family and friends.

Jake C: Justin Rennicks will be the Revs most effective/productive second winger

One of the biggest question marks for 2019 is who will play on the opposite wing of Cristian Penilla. The Revs have a lot of options for that spot with Diego Fagundez, Teal Bunbury and Juan Agudelo being the top contenders. I expect Bunbury to get a lot of minutes off the bench in a return to his box-to-box target winger role from a few years ago. This is a role that fits him nicely, as he’s a really solid option for the Revs when they’re trying to close out games. Diego likely can’t reach his goal/assist totals from last year simply because he won’t be in the middle, but he could be a nice option on the wing. As for Agudelo, I still can’t figure out exactly what he role will be.

A darkhorse candidate for the position is Rennicks. Rennicks seems to have a knack for goal and the Revs are going to need that from the winger spot. If Rennicks develops a habit of cleaning up chances in the box, like he did in preseason, he’ll quickly move up the depth chart for Brad Friedel. Last year Agudelo put up three goals and four assists in about 1500 minutes of play (30 games, 13 starts) and I think Rennicks can easily match those numbers in his rookie season if given the opportunity.

Josh: The Revolution will make it to the Eastern Conference Semifinals

For those who may not know, the MLS implemented a new playoff format for 2019. This new system allows a total of seven MLS teams from the eastern and western conferences to enter the playoffs. From there, all games will be single elimination.

Although the Revolution had a rocky 10-13-11 record in 2018, they were able to obtain the 8th seed in the east and were only five points behind the Montreal Impact. With several additions to the roster, I believe the Revs will be able to play as a cohesive unit for the first time in ages. This will not only get them into the playoffs, but I think they’ll grab the fifth or sixth seed.

As the sixth seed, the Revs would take on the third seed. As the fifth seed, the Revs would face the fourth seed. With this in mind, I’m foreseeing that the Revs will overcome their first-round opponent to advance on to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.