Editorial (June 19, 2018) – The World Cup break finds the New England Revolution in somewhat lofty territory. After struggling the last two years they are comfortably in 5th place in the Eastern Conference. Unbeaten in five games, the Revolution have shown resiliency, drive, and a high pressing style that have confounded a number of teams league-wide.
Preaching Patience for the New England Revolution
A Dissatisfied Base:
To say the New England Revolution supporters would be dissatisfied would be an understatement, however. After recent season’s road struggles they still only have one road win nearly halfway through the season. A leaky defense has highlighted their inconsistency. While a high powered offense has been firing on all cylinders, their defense has turned too many 2-1 victories into 2-2 draws. Chris Tierney’s season-ending injury, leaving a most ineffective Gabriel Somi exacerbates the Revolution’s defensive woes.
While five MLS Cup losses will leave any fan base feeling snakebitten, Revolution supporters have more than a few reasons for hope. Patience is the name of the game. With a new coach, new style, and a welcome break the Revolution are well-poised to return triumphantly to the playoffs this year.
Reasons for Patience
The Revolution’s attack has been the undoubted highlight. Teal Bunbury continues his remarkable resurgence, finding space and poaching goals most weeks. He now finds himself tied for fourth in the golden boot race. Diego Fagunguz has embraced his central number 10 role and new signing Christian Penilla has been devastating down the flanks. There’s no reason to doubt the goals won’t continue.
General Michael Burns takes a lot of flack from Revolution supporters (much of it deserved) but his hire of Brad Friedel looks to be have been inspired. Friedel may be new to the coaching ranks but he prepared well. He earned his top coaching license and brought in a strong staff. He has come in with a clear and relentless plan to have the Revolution aspire too.
Also worth noting is Friedel’s identity as an American. It isn’t news that American coaches have often adjusted better to the arcane demands MLS puts on its teams but Friedel has done extremely well. His success is only clearer by the number of international hires who have struggled this year in the league.
Finally, even the most rabid supporters would give a coach more than half a season to prove themselves. Friedel openly admits that his team is not where he wants them yet. A summer transfer window is a crucial opportunity to get another defender and perhaps another signing who will fit Friedel’s hard-working high pressing style. For a team that has waited over two decades for a soccer-specific stadium, patience should not be a foreign concept. Returning to the playoffs should be the goal this year and Friedel has his team more than on track to accomplish this.