Brian Wright has returned to the New England Revolution after a three-game loan to Birmingham Legion FC (USL). The striker probably isn’t the answer to the Revs’ scoring woes but he deserves a chance to showcase his ability.
The Revolution’s struggles in 2019 are well-known. The team is at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with a record of 1-1-5. They have a -7 goal differential, having only scored five times. Worst of all, none of their strikers have managed a shot on goal.
That last point could provide an opening for Wright.
To begin, it’s important to note that the Revs are about to embark on a busy schedule in which they play eight games in 29 days (this includes the charity match vs. Chelsea). Roster rotation is almost certain as the team will play three midweek matches. That alone will put Wright in contention for a spot in the starting lineup.
That’s not to say he doesn’t deserve it. I’m not sure that Wright has a long-term future in MLS, but he’s a target striker that knows how to hit the ball, which is what the Revs need right now. Juan Agudelo, Teal Bunbury, and Juan Fernando Caicedo simply haven’t been good enough this year.
Head coach Brad Friedel has complimented Wright’s shooting in the past. In a Boston Globe article from Sep. 6, 2018, Friedel said, “Brian’s probably our best out-and-out finisher, once Krisztian Nemeth left.”
While with Birmingham, he’s consistently been a nuisance to opponents. In 211 minutes (two starts), Wright has collected five shots (four on target). His best game came against Louisville City when he grabbed an assist and goal.
I’m not foolish enough to say that success in USL will translate to success in MLS. I’m also not a fan of automatically believing that the option on the bench is better than the players on the field.
That said, the Revs just aren’t good right now, which is why I support experimentation. Starting him Saturday against the New York Red Bulls is probably too soon, but I’m all for giving Wright a chance in the coming weeks.