The New England Revolution have an elite coach, three Designated Players, a well-rounded roster, a second-team, and a $35 million training center. Oh, and they’re contenders for the MLS Cup.
In short, this isn’t the same Revs organization that we’ve seen in the past, which makes it the perfect time to rebrand.
The Revolution were one of the original ten MLS teams but really hit their stride between 2002 and 2007, a period in which they made four MLS Cup Finals. Each one ended in disappointment, causing some to label the Revs as the Buffalo Bills of MLS.
The team did collect a U.S. Open Cup in 2007 and SuperLiga trophy in 2008, but they could’ve had more.
The years that followed were bleak until Jay Heaps returned as the head coach. The rookie coach grew into the role, ultimately guiding the team to a fifth MLS Cup loss in 2014.
Another MLS Cup loss was disheartening, but the acquisition of U.S. National Team star Jermaine Jones was cause for excitement. An instigator of the Revs’ 2014 run, Jones was called a “game changer” by Improper Bostonian. Many people wondered if this was a new era for the Revs.
The team failed to build off of that 2014 success. The roster didn’t improve the next year, which was especially devastating because of the loss of A.J. Soares (free transfer to Europe) and injury limitations of Jones (1312 minutes in 18 appearances). The years that followed weren’t better, which led to Heaps being let go.
Brad Friedel was hired to be the head coach with the promise that he’d bring a new sense of professionalism to the team. His hot start quickly cooled and he was out after 18 months. Long-time front office executive Michael Burns was also fired, indicating that real change could be on the horizon.
Insert Bruce Arena.
Hiring Arena was a benchmark moment for the Revs. The team instantly became more competitive. The 2021 version of the team has caught the attention of many pundits, some of which believe that New England can capture the elusive MLS Cup.
Whether they do or not, this certainly feels like a high point for the Revs. The team has three DPs, including perennial MVP candidate Carles Gil, who just re-signed. The team also has USMNT prospect Matt Turner in net, who just re-signed. The rest of the roster is pretty balanced, though the Front Office seems to be constantly looking for upgrades.
Revs fans are hopeful that their team will have sustained success, unlike what was seen in 2014. If it does then it’s the perfect time to introduce a new look.
Remember, the Krafts were called the “the Worst Owners in MLS.” The narrative disappeared with the arrival of Jones just months later, but it soon returned. Now might be the moment that the Krafts shed the label permanently.
In December 2019, Revolution President Brian Bilello told Sam Stejskal of The Athletic, “We’ve always thought about doing the rebrand when we built a new stadium, but I would say at this point that we probably updated our thinking a little bit regarding timing. We’re going through the process of evaluating the potential to do that sooner rather than later.”
We don’t know when a soccer-specific stadium will arrive, but we seem to be in a moment of change for the Revs. Updating the team’s branding could be the perfect way to show everyone that the organization is taking a new approach to running the team.
It could be a perfect way to show that this isn’t the same Revs organization.