After an emphatic victory over NYCFC last week, the New England Revolution safely cemented themselves 14 points ahead of second place Nashville SC in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference, and nine points ahead of Sporting KC, the next closest team league-wide.
Their record of 17-4-4 serves as a testament to the dedication Bruce Arena’s men have had towards capturing the club’s first MLS Cup. This sudden run of incredible success has been a product of arguably the most talented squad in the history of the club.
The club is led by the current leader in the MVP race, Carles Gil. The Spaniard, in spite of missing time recovering from a sports hernia surgery, has put up a league-leading 16 assists. In addition, the captain sits top of the league in key passes with 79, 16 more than the next closest player. Before the injury he was on track to break the record of 26 set by Carlos Valderrama in 2000.
Alongside Gil, the Revolution attack is rounded out by Gustavo “La Pantera” Bou, an Argentine forward with a cannon for a leg, and Adam Buksa, the lanky target man from Poland. The three lead a Revolution attack that ranks first in goals scored, and goal differential. On the right wing, 2021 Gold Cup Best Youth Player Tajon Buchanan has been tearing up defenders and goalkeepers alike, all the while earning himself a $7 million transfer to Club Brugge at the end of the season.
On the left, the spot has been occupied by Icelandic international Arnor Traustason for a majority of the year, but an inability to produce has opened the door for the five-foot-six Ema Boateng to step up. In only seven appearances this season, Boateng has been able to find the net twice, most recently in the team’s previous match against NYCFC.
The midfield generally features two defensive midfielders, with one of them guaranteed to be Matt Polster. Though he’s only found the back of the net twice this season, his impact has been palpable as the key cog moving the ball upfield, complementing Gil just in front of him.
Wilfrid Kaptoum and Tommy McNamara have both played DM at various stages this season, with veteran Scott Caldwell seeing limited action. Brazilian-born Maciel, a Revolution II product, filled in the role early on in the year, but has seen minimal action as the year carried on.
At left-back, third-year SuperDraft pick DeJuan Jones has had a breakout season, scoring twice and dishing out five assists to compliment some stellar defensive play comparative to previous years.
In the middle, longtime stalwart Andrew Farrell and U.S. Men’s National team member and second-year SuperDraft pick Henry Kessler both have proven they can handle even the league’s deadliest attacks. Backing up the two central defenders has been cult hero Jon Bell, a Revolution II product that spurred the #AnnounceJonBell movement prior to the 2021 season getting underway.
On the right side, the ever-consistent Brandon Bye has been locked in, slotting home the first goal of the season for the club and coming into his own in his third season with the team.
In goal, Matt Turner has had a coming out party this season, backstopping the USMNT to a thrilling Gold Cup victory. In addition, Turner was named the best goalkeeper in the tournament, and subsequently was named to the MLS All-Star Team.
Bruce Arena’s leadership, combined with the cohesiveness of this group, frame what looks to be a very special season in New England.