Despite having a solid roster, the New England missed the playoffs in 2016 for the first time since 2012. The Revolution were the second worst in the Eastern Conference in both goals forced and goals allowed.
The abysmal defense has gotten an upgrade in 2017. Jose Goncalves and Darrius Barnes will not be returning this season. Instead, the Revolution have adde Antonio Milnar Delamea and Benjamin Angoua. These new center backs are likely to start the season together.
Promising youngster Femi Hollinger-Janzen has also departed. He was selected by Minnesota United in their Expansion Draft. This turn of events takes away prominent future attacker.
Gershon Koffie was out of contract at the end of the season and his signed with Hammarby IF of Sweden. This marks another notable loss for the Revolution.
New England is a team in flux. There isn’t a set formation or an easy to predict lineup for 2017. A 4-3-3 suits the squad well, but a 4-5-1/4-2-3-1 could also work. The 4-4-2 diamond might be possible given the squad.
First and foremost, the Revolution need to fix their defensive woes. That starts with playing the best defenders and giving them cover. Utilizing Scott Caldwell and Xavier Kouasi protects the defensive line and opens up the counter attack. The best way to do this is to line up in a 4-2-3-1. The entire attacking core is then free to make their runs and get in behind the defense.
New England Revolution Lineup
To put it bluntly, this is impossible to predict. There are so many options, wrinkles, and contested spots, it’s anyone’s guess. Kei Kamara, Lee Nguyen, and Chris Tierney are the only locks to start. Everyone else is in flux.
Both new CBs are potential starters, but both are newcomers to MLS. While they should lock down spots, the transition may limit their performances.
Expectations for 2017
Given the roster fluctuation, it’s very hard to predict anything for the Revolution. They could very easily figure it all out and be contenders, but they could also struggle to gel and fall flat.
Kamara has started off hot in preseason with three goals in the first three games. This bodes well for 2017 after he struggled to find the net in his first half season.
If the Revolution figure this out, they will make the playoffs. But if the lineup is constantly changing, they will look appalling fall to the bottom of the table.