New England Soccer Today

Bold Predictions: 2016 Revs Edition

Photo credit: New England Revolution

Photo credit: New England Revolution

As the 2016 MLS regular season gets ready to kick off, predictions on how things will shake out over the course of the next nine months are flying left and right. Who’ll be the next Sebastian Giovinco? Which team will come out on top in December? Ask 10 different people, and you’ll likely get 10 different answers.

The New England Revolution enter 2016 with more questions than they have in the past couple of years. With Jermaine Jones no longer in the fold, where does the star power come from in New England? Can the Revs return to their late-2014 form when they made a run to the top of the Eastern Conference? Or will injuries and inconsistency bring the season to screeching halt once again?

With those questions, and more, it is time for some bold predictions.

Teal Bunbury Will Lead The Revs In Goals

After an impressive preseason behind him, Bunbury is poised to have a breakout season in New England. His three game scoring streak helped earned himDesert Diamond Cup MVP honors, and showed that Bunbury is healthy, motivated, and hungry to strengthen his case for a spot in the starting XI.

Bunbury’s speed makes him a threat on the flank, but he also showed that he is ready to help the attack from up top. Combining Bunbury with Charlie Davies as threats close to goal will lead to increased pressure on defenses, and more scoring

Bunbury has also shown an increased ability to pick his spots on net. Expect a dozen or so goals from the winger/striker to lead the way.

Gershon Koffie Will Start More Than 25 Games

There was certainly some buzz surrounding the early-February trade that brought Koffie from the Whitecaps to the Revolution. The 24-year-old midfielder is big (6-0) strong, fast, and has a strong soccer IQ. He also displays the toughness that can win over the hearts of New England.

For these reasons, Koffie is going to become a starter full-time for the Revolution. Koffie pairing with 2015 Revolution MVP Scott Caldwell will help the Revs become one of the stronger defensive teams again in 2016. With Koffie and Caldwell playing just on top of the center back pairing of Jose Goncalves and Andrew Farrell, opponents won’t find it easy to get through the middle.

Koffie also has shown a good ability to get the ball up the middle of the field to the Revs’ playmakers. Expect the Ghana international to be a starter from day one, and hold onto that spot all season.

Chris Tierney Will Lead The Revs In Assists

Although it might not seem crazy for Tierney to have a high assist number, it will take a lot of work for Tierney to get past Lee Nguyen as the assist king in New England in 2016. Yet if Tierney can stay healthy, he’ll get that distinction by season’s end. Tierney’s crossing ability should be utilized even better this year with Davies, Bunbury, and Juan Agudelo all the more familiar in their collective roles this year.

Their finishing ability makes Tierney’s crossing ability even more dangerous. They also have a strong collection of players across the field. From London Woodberry to Darrius Barnes and recent addition Je-Vaughn Watson, teams can not focus solely on Tierney when he pushes forward. Expect a huge season for the Wellesley, Mass. native, and many happy midfielders and forwards for the Revs.

Revs Will Finish In Top Three Of Eastern Conference

The Eastern Conference in MLS has become stronger and stronger over the past 16 months. Thanks to some shrewd moves made by the likes of Columbus, Toronto, and Montreal, and the steady strength of DC and New York, the competition in the Eastern Conference could be fiercer than ever. The Revolution will have to fight and claw to stay in the thick of it, but they will do just that.

With a talented attacking corps and a veteran defense that should be better than it was last year, this group has the chance to make a run. Jay Heaps has a tough team with great speed, and a deeper roster than the one it carried last year. This will help them get past teams in the cellar of the Eastern Conference, and compete with the top teams. They’ll finally find the consistency that eluded them in three of the last four seasons, and it should allow them the opportunity to get inside the top three.

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