In Foxboro, the New England Revolution soccer team has jumped at the opportunity to take over the throne as kings of Gillette, earning their best record in club history. Their 69 points place them atop the league standings, 11 points ahead of the next closest team, the Seattle Sounders. After securing the first place spot in the Eastern Conference over a week ago, they have now clinched the supporters shield with Seattle’s loss on Saturday.
For fans of the club, the failures of the organization since its creation in 1996 is common knowledge, but for outsiders, not much is known about the team’s playoff struggles. The Revolution have managed to reach the Major League Soccer Cup Final five times in their storied history, but they are 0-5 in the final.
Outside of solely being a Revolution-based accomplishment, if the team manages to win this Sunday’s match against Orlando City SC, they will tie the 2019 LAFC record for most points in a season and give themselves an opportunity to surpass the point total in the game against the Colorado Rapids this Wednesday. Considering how the preceding seasons had gone for the club, after firing manager Brad Friedel and general manager Mike Burns, the turnaround from dead last in the Eastern Conference to the top of the league in a span of three years is mind-blowing.
The team has played to a record of 21-4-6 this year, with MVP frontrunner and captain Carles Gil leading the way with 13 assists and 4 goals, while Golden Boot contender Gustavo Bou and Polish striker Adam Buksa have led the team in scoring. On the wing, Tajon Buchanan has been a game-changer, proving his $7 million price tag as he approaches an offseason move to Belgium team Club Brugge. Back between the sticks, U.S. Men’s National Team starting goalkeeper Matt Turner continues to evolve and improve after earning the starting job in New England three years ago and has refused to look back, leading the league across various statistical categories as he nears what could be a MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award.
The Revolution also boasts some tenured players like Teal Bunbury, Scott Caldwell and Andrew Farrell, who all currently sit atop the list when it comes to longevity, with Caldwell and Farrell breaking into the roster in 2013 and Bunbury joining the group in 2014 following a stint with Sporting Kansas City. All three players were instrumental in the team’s run to the cup final in 2014 and are hungrier than ever to finally capitalize this time around.
Head coach Bruce Arena could be considered the Bill Belichick of MLS for his demeanor and on-field product. The team will look to outperform their Gillette Stadium roommates and finally separate themselves from being one of the outsiders in the Boston sports spectrum.