Fans in the stands. On Thursday Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced that beginning March 22nd the state would start to allow large capacity venues to host fans. For the New England Revolution, this announcement will allow them to have fans in attendance to start the 2021 MLS regular season which kicks off on April 17th.
Per Baker’s regulations, the venues would only be allowed to be at 12% capacity and venues must submit their plans to the state for approval. The club is currently working on its proposal that will be sent to state officials and the exact capacity target is not yet known. Given the capacity of the stadium fluctuates depending on the event the final number can vary. Currently, the stadium is being used as a mass vaccination site for COVID-19 and has already administered over 100,000 doses. As of now, they are planning to continue the mass vaccination site once the season kicks off but that as with everything during a global pandemic is subject to change.
The last full season that the team had fans in attendance (2019) the club averaged 17,783 fans per match, -8.8% versus the previous season. Attendance did jump a bit towards the end of the season once the team brought in Bruce Arena and started to win matches but they finished 18th in all of MLS in terms of attendance. The last home match at Gillette in which fans were in attendance was a 1-1 draw against the Chicago Fire on 3/7/2020 which had 15,289 fans in attendance.
Revs II Sign Prosper Figbe
Also on Thursday the USL League One team made some news signing defender Prosper Figbe. The 24-year-old signed with Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC of the USL Championship prior to the 2019 season but never made an appearance with the club due to a knee injury.
Figbe played collegiality with the University of Virginia where he made 38 appearances over his junior and senior seasons. While with the Cavaliers he played opposite of current Revolution defender Henry Kessler. Prior to playing with the program that has a soft spot in Bruce Arena’s heart Figbe spent two seasons with the University of South Florida where he proved to be one of the better defenders in the ACC and even won the ACC Defender of the Year in 2016.
The Nigerian international was available for selection in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft but went unselected. Figbe did impress leading into the draft having finished second in the 30-meter dash (behind Revs defender DeJuan Jones) and second in vertical jump during the leagues pre-draft combine.
He hasn’t played in quite some time but the measurables paired with collegiate success makes this the perfect gamble for the Revs. Low risk, high reward. This is one of the many reasons why the club formed Revs II.
With Figbe under contract Revs II now has five defenders signed for the 2021 USL League One season. Similar to last year the organization will have the flexibility to use first-team players and academy players as needed to fill the roster for matches.
Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Riverhounds
The USL League One season is expected to start in May and is expected to have 28 regular season matches and run thru October.
Edward Kizza Has Reportedly Signed With Revs
On Wednesday night Steven Goff of the Washington Post reported that the Revs have signed Edward Kizza to an MLS contract. New England drafted Kizza with the 24th overall pick in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft.
The striker’s hold-up play ability will provide the Revolution with much-needed depth at the position. As of post this signing has not yet been confirmed by the club but Goff is as solid as they come.
With this news, the Revs roster for the 2021 MLS season is at 24 players (3 goalkeepers & 21 outfield players). Kizza will occupy a costly international roster spot meaning the club has seven of eight international spots currently filled.
There have been no reports on Kizza’s fellow 2021 MLS SuperDraftee Francois Dulysse who was selected in the second round. That being said the defender is currently under contract with Revs II for the 2021 USL League One season and New England will own his MLS rights up until December 31st the year after the draft.
2021 Team Jersey
Nothing official here as the club plans un unveiling their 2021 kit in March. Patience is a virtue or so they say.
TouChes for C.H.A.N.G.E. NEARING $25K
The club’s Touches for C.H.A.N.G.E. initiative continues and will run thru Saturday (2/27). So far the club has raised $24,490 as of post, exceeding its initial goal of $10,000 and its revised target of $15,000.
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