The beginning of 2023 will be a telling time for this New England Revolution squad. Thus far this offseason, the fans have believed that most signings were of little to no change to the team.
That the recent Bobby Wood acquisition was a depth signing at best for a team that already has a few aging former stars. Santiago Suarez is a signing for the future. The draft picks we just acquired are depth at best.
New England Revolution always expected to do great things
This team has a New England identity, which, automatically puts the expectations of this club at a high point. Boston and New England teams such as the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, Pride, and Cannons have shown that they can get it done at the championship level.
The Revolution went on and had quite a few amazing playoff years from 2002-2007 and then 2014. Ultimately coming up short in their five championship games, which has now dubbed them the Buffalo Bills of MLS. They raised their own expectations, the fans expect that the Revs will be a championship team eventually.
Will this team be able to bring themselves back to MLS Cup in 2023? Fans expect it after not reaching the playoffs in 2022. As well as achieving such a trophy as the Supporters’ Shield in 2021.
The team is motivated to get back to the level of 2021 this year. Matt Polster said as much in an interview with Jeff Lemieux last year. Lemieux asked Polster why fans should get excited for 2022, and his answer was:
"“Because I’m extremely pissed off of 2022”"
The New Year brings new signings
Since the team announced their final cuts at the end of the 2022 season, there had been only two signings to the squad. Then, MLS Superdraft 2023 came, and the team drafted a player with a guaranteed contract through Generation Adidas, Joshua Bolma.
As it stands currently, the other two picks from the draft, Victor Souza and Andreas Ueland, are without a definite contract. They will be tested out in the quickly upcoming preseason before getting their assignment to the senior squad, Revolution II, or possibly end up unsigned.
Fans of the Revs and most pundits agreed that New England had been eerily quiet on the signing front for a team that had failed in 2022. There have been rumors of some offers, but nothing has been completed. Well, 2023 gave the fans something that they’ve wanted since the Wood signing, a sign of life.
On January 3rd, 2023, the New England Revolution announced that they signed LAFC midfielder, Latif Blessing. The Ghanian arrives in a trade worth $400,000 in GAM, with a possible addition of $300,000 more if particular performance levels are met. They haven’t announced it yet, but it also looks likely that Carles Gil’s brother, Nacho, returns to the team in 2023.
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If anything, this raises expectations that much more. Blessing helped the 2022 LAFC team to win the Supporters Shield. Adding a player of his talent and MLS longevity to a New England squad that has a core that once achieved a Supporters’ Shield themselves puts their bar at a much higher point.
Revolution coaching team needs to achieve this year
The New England Revolution in 2023 will have a few chances to win titles or trophies. They have an entry in the 2023 US Open Cup. The team can achieve the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup. They will also have one more chance to win a trophy that they haven’t in years past. The Leagues Cup will be happening from July to August pitting Liga MX teams against MLS teams.
Needless to say, this coaching team needs to come out and prove to the fans that they’re willing to make the tactical changes to win games. They need to see their players have a hunger to finish games off completely. In 2022, Revs consistently found ways to lose games in which they should have gained points. That cannot happen this season.
More than anything, the Revolution need to show they can get into the CONCACAF Champions League in whatever way possible. All of those trophies and titles above give New England the possibility to do so. If they can’t make this happen, Bruce Arena should think about giving up the reigns as the coach.