We are now thru the 2021 MLS SuperDraft where the New England Revolution selected two players. The first being a striker in Edward Kizza and the second a full-back named Francois Dulysse. With the draft in the rear-view let us take a look at where things stand in terms of depth.
On Thursday’s call with reporters, Revs Sporting Director and Head Coach Bruce Arena made it a point to note the club looked at the draft from a positional needs perspective. Arena also hinted that another player was likely to be signed by the club ahead of the 2021 MLS season. So with that in mind, where are the holes in the roster?
Let’s start with the goalkeeper situation and work our way up to the strikers.
(All players are those that the Revolution owns the MLS rights to, not necessarily who is signed to a first-team contract as of post.)
Goalkeepers: Matt Turner, Brad Knighton, Earl Edwards Jr.
The goalkeeper spot is locked, nothing more needed here for the Revs.
Defenders: Brandon Bye, Jon Bell, A.J. DeLaGarza, Francois Dulysse, Andrew Farrell, DeJuan Jones, Henry Kessler, Christian Mafla, Collin Verfurth
This list does not include Tajon Buchanan who played right-back during the 2020 MLS Cup playoffs for the Revs. Overall the backline is solid with some versatility with DeLaGarza able to play the center back position as well as a right-back. New England drafting Dulysse helped solidify the depth at center back but there may still be questions here.
The backline had the biggest departure of veterans (Alex Butner, Antonio Delamea, Michael Mancienne, Seth Sinovic) of any group of players on the roster. A lot is banking on Mafla being a success story at left-back. Wouldn’t mind the club signing another MLS veteran backline.
Midfield: Emmanuel Boateng, Luis Caicedo, Scott Caldwell, Carles Gil, Wilfrid Kaptoum, Tommy McNamara, Matt Polster, Damian Rivera
The return of Caicedo makes the depth in the defensive side of the midfield strong with Scott Caldwell and Matt Polster likely battling it out to be the opposite of Caicedo. Boateng brings in nice pace and Kaptoum has the potential to be a dynamite signing for the Revs. Still, a lot of unknowns on how the pieces come together in the attacking midfield. The only sure bet is Carles Gil.
Rumor has it the club may be looking to add another body here.
Forward: Gustavo Bou, Tajon Buchanan, Adam Buksa, Teal Bunbury, Edward Kizza, Justin Rennicks
New England completed this group during the draft by adding another striker in Edward Kizza to the roster. Last season when Buksa was not in the lineup the Revs lacked a real target man. It will be interesting to see what a full season of Gil healthy will do for Buksa and what Bou will look like playing in his true role and not be on the ball constantly.
Revolution Roster takeaways
The Revs took care of business during the 2021 MLS SuperDraft. With international newcomers and SuperDraft picks there is always a lot of unknowns in terms of immediate production. The talent is clearly there for the Revs however and as a whole, the roster is in a much better place now than at this point last year.
Are there still areas of need? Sure, another veteran piece on the backline and an extra body in the midfield could help. But nothing that appears immediate. Will need to see the team in training camp and in the preseason to truly judge where things are at, however.
New England’s biggest obstacle right now is MLS itself. There is no date for the team to start training, nothing set in terms of a preseason schedule, and just a potential for a mid-March start for the season which seems unlikely given the CBA issues the league has brought upon itself.
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