New England Soccer Today

#NERevs Predictions: A Modest Proposal

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

Welcome to the final part of our five-part series of Revolution-related predictions for the upcoming season. Yesterday, we gave our predictions for where the team will finish in the Eastern Conference in 2017. Today, our writers take a slightly different approach: a modest proposal for what the Revolution should try to do differently in 2017.

Don’t forget – we want to hear from you! Give us your modest proposal in the comments section1

Sean Donahue: Add a scout to the staff. Regardless of whether most MLS teams are doing it at this point, it is long past time for the Revolution added a scout to its staff. As I’ve noted in the past, the Revolution’s coaching staff (even after the addition of Carlos Llamosa) is too thin to be doing double duty with coaching and scouting. I think it is safe to say the Revolution are never going to be among the league’s top spenders, and if that is the case, they need to do a better job of uncovering affordable talent outside the league if they are going to remain competitive. Adding one scout isn’t a panacea for all that ails the Revolution in this area, but it would sure go a long way towards helping.

Greg Johnstone: One year ago, Sean Okoli was released by the Revs quietly. With no roster spot or defined role, the Revolution let him go to pursue opportunities elsewhere. One year later, Okoli will be backing up David Villa at NYCFC after scoring 16 goals in 29 games to win USL MVP.

The Revolution’s partnership with the Rhinos hasn’t gained much so far, as New England’s braintrust prefers to have their developmental players train close to home. But considering the backlog at forward of 1st round SuperDraft pick Brian Wright and the returning Femi Hollinger-Jansen, I would suggest loaning one of them to Rochester with the right to recall in the event of injury. The game experience will help the development of these players and help evaluate whether they have a future role on the team. Who knows? If the Revs loaned Okoli to Rochester in 2016 instead of cutting him, he might still be in Foxboro.

Brian O’Connell: Chris Tierney may indeed have the best left foot in MLS, but at age 31, the twilight of his career probably isn’t that far off in the distance. With that in mind, it would behoove the Revolution to have him and Donnie Smith platoon at left back this year. Yes, taking Tierney out of the XI doesn’t do the Revolution any favors on attacking set pieces. But there will come a time in the not-so-distant future when the club won’t have Tierney around to launch those majestic corners and free kicks. Therefore, the coaching staff should do all they can to groom his replacement, who projects to be none other than the speedy Smith, who doesn’t have a bad left foot himself.

4 Comments

  1. Mike Kennedy (@mekncl)

    March 4, 2017 at 7:11 am

    Another suggestion is to fill out the roster. There are too many empty roster spots – it’s truly embarrasing. Make it a healthy competition to be part of the 18 rather than a given, so the starters know there are replacements at every position. Having some depth hungry for minutes will hopefully push everyone enough to avoid the annual slow start and midsummer living streak.

  2. Brian O'Connell

    March 4, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Agreed, 100% Mike. Heaps has always talked about having competition at each spot to sharpen his players, but when you barely have enough guys for a full-sided scrimmage, it’s hard to believe he means it.

  3. J Metsch

    March 4, 2017 at 11:10 am

    I agree with all including Mike. I’ve hated to see how Revs have the smallest roster in MLS. I also think this has contributed to the poor showing in the last couple of years.The problem is balancing players getting consistent field time and ones needing play as well and ready to perform when needed. This is a thing a coach should be doing. I still think a seasoned coach would help the team. Unfortunately, that coach would be handed a roster someone else picked. I don’t see Revs can do a Seattle thing successfully. We needed experience. Not Sigi.

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