New England Soccer Today

Revs Bolster Offense in SuperDraft

Despite facing an obvious hole at center back, the New England Revolution filled their depth at other positions at the SuperDraft on Friday in Los Angeles, California. The Revolution drafted Brian Wright, a forward from the University of Vermont, with the 20th overall selection and Napo Matsoso, a midfielder from Kentucky, with the 31st selection overall.

The anticipation leading up to the draft was full of speculation, as the Revolution were rumored to be one of numerous teams attempting to trade up for the first pick of the draft to select Syracuse defender and Arlington, Mass. native Miles Robinson. However, Minnesota United FC held the pick to select UCLA forward Abu Danladi, and Miles Robinson went second overall to Atlanta United FC, where he will join former Revolution players Michael Parkhurst and Jeff Larentowicz.

In the end, the Revolution waited until their original draft position with the 20th overall pick, which they received from the Colorado Rapids as compensation for Jermaine Jones last spring, where they selected Wright.

The former Catamount was a 2016 Hermann Trophy finalist, the first Vermont player to be considered for the honor. Wright finished his college career with 39 goals and 25 assists, including 14 goals and 12 assists in his final season.

Wright’s selection seems like a direct replacement for Femi Hollinger-Janzen, who was selected by Minnesota United FC in the Expansion Draft last month. Hollinger-Janzen’s departure left the Revolution with no depth at forward behind Kei Kamara and Juan Agudelo with the exception of Teal Bunbury, who is reportedly trying to leave the club.

After acquiring Wright, many anticipated the Revolution to fulfill the defensive line with their second round pick, which was only 11 picks later. New England pulled another surprise, selecting attacking midfielder, Napo Matsoso out of Kentucky.

Matsoso, was a four year starter at Kentucky logging 19 goals and 20 assists during his college career, including 8 goals and 4 assists in his 2016 senior season. Matsoso also earned First-Team All Conference USA honors in 2014, 2015, and 2016, as well as being named the 2016 Conference USA Preseason Offensive Player of the Year.

While the Revolution bolster their offensive attack through Wright and Matsoso, the Revolution still have a limited number of defenders on the roster having yet to re-sign the out of contract Jose Goncalves. After failing to land Miles Robinson, New England passed on highly-touted defenders such as Brandon Aubrey (Notre Dame) and Francis de Vries (St. Francis) in the first round and Justin Schmidt (Washington) and Walker Hume (North Carolina) in both rounds.

In addition to Miles Robinson, a number of other local players were selected Friday, including Providence midfielder Julain Gressel, Boston College forward.winger Zeiko Lewis, and a pair of UConn players, midfielder Kwame Awuah and defender Jakob Nerwinski.

Barring any other transactions, the New England Revolution have one remaining pick in the 2017 SuperDraft, the 9th pick in the fourth round (75th overall). New England traded away their third round pick last March to FC Dallas for Je-Vaughn Watson. The final two rounds of the SuperDraft will resume on Tuesday, January 17.

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