Revolution Notebook: New Kit Dropped And Expectations For 2021

Day two of the New England Revolution training camp is in the books. On Tuesday the Revs trained for the second time as a team. Both Adam Buksa and Christian Mafla were not present with Buksa still waiting on paperwork to get out of Europe and Mafla arriving in Boston during the lunch-time hour.

One of the big newsworthy headlines to come out of Revs training was the 2021 kit launch the club dropped at noon during the media availability. If you are not a fan of white kits look away.

Video Credit: New England Revolution

With jersey releases clubs like to give their reasons for the overall design so here is what the Revs are saying about their community kit:

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“The Fort, home to the Midnight Riders and the Rebellion, has been the heartbeat of Revolution home games dating back to Major League Soccer’s maiden campaign in 1996. From section 2 in Foxborough Stadium to sections 141, 142, and 143 in Gillette Stadium, Revolution supporters draw immense pride from their status as MLS originals amid the league’s rapid expansion.Split branding on the sleeves and shorts, featuring a dark navy trim on one side and sky blue trim on the other, is unique to the Revolution, as is the blocked design on the shirt. The colors of the split represent the colors of the water and the sky that surround the war-era forts throughout New England. A staple of every Revolution kit, the flag of New England remains on the back neck location of the jersey, while a custom jock tag also pays tribute to the Fort’s sections 141, 142, and 143. In addition, UnitedHealthcare returns for its 11th season as the club’s kit sponsor.”Revs Press Release

They state that it will be their secondary kit and used in the 2021 and 2022 MLS seasons. The kit is on sale now via the club’s website or in-person at the Patriots Place ProShop.

Candidly this speaks to a percentage of their fanbase, yes the supporter’s section is vital to the success of the club but from a wide lens view making a kit dedicated to that section alienates fans who are either not in those supporters groups or are simply more casual in their fandom. A good portion of Revolution fans will likely not resonate with the meaning behind the kit. But it is all a matter of opinion.

What do we think about the new “community kit” called “The Fort”? #NERevs #NETID— The Rebellion (@NErebellion) March 2, 2021

El proceso de diseño de @adidasfootball…🙃 pic.twitter.com/SP0Sy0E8Wg— Midnight Riders Español (@LosRiders1995) March 2, 2021

That being said, it is still a clean kit and looks solid on the players, especially with the sky blue trim and sock combination. Overall it is tough to be too judgemental on the colorway of the kit and that is because it is primarily out of the control of the team. MLS as a whole has requirements in place with Adidas in order to have a third kit. Back in January Portland Timbers owner Merrit Paulson pulled back the curtain on the requirements. Paulson said in a Tweet that teams most sell 100,000 kits to have a third kit.

So in essence, until the requirements become less strict or the Revolution starts hitting those targets you can expect the white kits and the traditional Revs blues and reds to continue.

Photo Credit: New England Revolution

Expectations Are High For The Revolution

The New England Revolution for quite some time have been a middle-of-the-road MLS team in terms of regular-season performance. Last year the club posted an 8-7-8 record and finished 8th in the Eastern Conference. Previous years were not any better.

2020: 8th

2019: 7th

2018: 8th

2017: 7th

That being said despite finishing in 8th last season the Revs had the benefit of an expanded MLS playoff structure. New England was able to go on a run and made it to the Eastern Conference Final where they fell to the Columbus Crew SC. It is hard not to look at this roster and expect better things in the 2021 MLS season. After all the bulk of the playoff roster has returned and the club has brought in additions like Wilfrid Kaptoum, Christian Mafla as well as several MLS veterans.

As a whole, the players are clear that their expectations are high but also note that it is very early in the preseason.:

“It’s tough to say if it’s stronger than – maybe there’s been a few years that we could definitely say – I know in the 2014 run we had a great, cohesive group,” said Revs Forward Teal Bunbury on the team’s roster. ” So I always kind of compare teams to that team, and I think on paper this team is right there with that team. I think bringing back a lot of guys that were here last year, we’re going to continue to have that cohesiveness and that’s the most important thing I think as players is gelling with each other and other things you kind of can-do off the field and in training to push each other. It’s a very, very strong team. 

“We want to compete to be one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference and MLS consistently,” said Revolution Goalkeeper Matt Turner. “We don’t want to hover around that seven, eighth spot flirting with the playoff line. We want to be securely in the playoffs fighting for the Supporters’ Shield or fighting for trophies all season and in all competitions. I think that that’s a very reasonable expectation for this group. And like I said before, it’s going take a collective effort. Yeah, we have a really good [starting] 11 of guys that got us to the Eastern Conference Final, but we also called on a lot of different people throughout the season and we bring a lot of those people back this year. We have a really good nucleus and we’re starting to add pieces. It’s still early for us, I think we just finished our second team training here, but I think this group is expecting to compete with the top of the Eastern Conference, the top of the MLS and it’s going to take a big effort from everybody and a ton of focus all season.”

A Healthy GIl Makes All The Difference

Anyone who has read my Revolution work long enough knows that I am a big fan of Carles Gil‘s game. With Gil goes the Revs and the 2020 season was the perfect example of that. Gil was injured for the majority of the season and the second he returned the club went on an upset run all the way to the Eastern Conference Final.

“I think Carles is always ready to go,” said Revolution forward Teal Bunbury on Gil. “Even when he was nursing that injury, he was chomping at the bit. And I think coming in here, he’s ready for this season. He’s motivated, he’s excited, and he’s been taking care of his body, so he’s in a good place, I think. Most importantly, I think he’s in a good place mentally. That’s so important to our group, is having him feeling good, coming in here ready to work. The first couple of days, he’s been putting the work in.”

Gil since joining the Revs a few years ago has been the best playmaker in MLS and maybe one of the top players in the league as a whole. His service is world-class, has a high work-rate, reads the field like a general, and makes every player around him better. The 28-year-old is healthy heading into the 2021 season and if he is able to stay healthy throughout then the sky is the limit for this Revolution team.

“Like you said, last year I had a major injury and I missed a lot of games,” said Gil when asked about how he is feeling. “But so far I find myself in a good place both physically and mentally. We’re only two days in, but we’re starting to feel good after being away for so long. It won’t be easy, but I feel good. Personally, my goals are to help the team. I think we all want to win a trophy. Last year we came close and we’re trying exceed that [this year]. I think that should be our goal.”

Selling Points Of MLS

“I think the first thing is the league,” said Carles Gil when asked about what makes MLS attractive to players around the world. “It’s become a league that’s more attractive. More and more players want to come play here. I think the club has grown a lot over the past few years with the arrival of someone as important in the American soccer world as Bruce. I think like I’ve said before, every player that comes here will be happy. We have a team that’s getting better. The expectations are high. Bruce is a winner. He wants to win wherever he goes and we all share that mentality.”

Colby Quinones On Puerto Rico Concacaf World Cup Qualifying Roster

On Tuesday the Puerto Rico national team announced its roster for the Concacaf 2022 World Cup qualifiers which take place later this month. Making the roster was current New England Revolution II player Colby Quinones and former Revolution Homegrown Player Isaac Angking. Quinones is 17-years-old and is a former Revolution Academy player who signed with Revs II in late November.

Last season he played in 14 USL League One matches and was called into Puerto Rico’s January training camp. He was also apart of the first Revs Academy Residency Program that launched in 2019. Quinones had been one of six Revs II players training with the first team during the opening days of the 2021 MLS preseason.

Juan Agudelo Lands In Minnesota

A former Revolution player finds a new home. On Tuesday Minnesota United FC announced that they had signed Juan Agudelo to a one-year deal. Last season the 28-year-old was with expansion side Inter Miami CF where he appeared in 14 matches and scored three goals.

Agudelo departed New England following the 2019 season after appearing in 156 matches across six seasons with the club.
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