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The New England Revolution is an American professional soccer club based in the Greater Boston area that competes in Major League Soccer (MLS), in the Eastern Conference of the league. It is one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, having competed in the league since its inaugural season.
The club is owned by Robert Kraft, who also owns the New England Patriots along with his son, Jonathan Kraft. The name "Revolution" refers to the New England region's significant involvement in the American Revolution that took place from 1775–1783.
New England plays their home matches at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, located 21 miles (34 km) southwest of downtown Boston, Massachusetts. The club played their home games at the adjacent and now-demolished Foxboro Stadium, from 1996 until 2001. The Revs are the only original MLS team to have every league game in their history televised.
The Revolution won their first major trophy in the 2007 U.S. Open Cup. The following year, they won the 2008 North American SuperLiga. The Revolution have participated in five MLS Cup finals in 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2014. They also placed second in the 2005 regular season. However, they have never won an MLS Cup or MLS Supporters' Shield.
The early years (1996–2001)Edit
The inaugural Revolution team featured several U.S. Men's National Team regulars returning from abroad to be part of the new league. Despite the presence of Alexi Lalas, Mike Burns, and Joe-Max Moore, however, the team was one of only two that failed to make the playoffs of the then 10 team league. The following season, the squad made the playoffs, but failed to advance past the first round. For the next five years, this playoff result would be the Revs' best (which they matched in the 2000 season), as a revolving door of players and head coaches failed to make much of an impact on the fledgling league.
Attendance in these early years was high despite the team's poor on-field performances. More than 15,000 people per match regularly came to watch the Revolution play in the old Foxboro Stadium. The Revs did manage to make the final of the 2001 U.S. Open Cup, but they lost to the Los Angeles Galaxy on a golden goal by Danny Califf. It was a harbinger of finals to come for the Revolution.
The Steve Nicol era (2002–2011)Edit
Liverpool great Steve Nicol was appointed as head coach on a full-time basis during the 2002 season. He had previously held the position of interim head coach during the 1999 and 2002 seasons. After taking over, Nicol guided the Revolution to a playoff berth for a league-record eight straight seasons, failing for the first time in 2010. The first six of those berths (from 2002–2007) resulted in an appearance in the conference final or better, including three consecutive MLS Cup finals from 2005–2007. From the 2008 season until 2013, the Revs failed to go further than the first round of the playoffs. Still, Nicol was respected as one of the best coaches in the league.
Playoff success (2002–2007)Edit
In his first season in charge, Nicol guided the Revs to a first-place finish in the Eastern Conference. The team advanced through the playoffs to the MLS Cup final, where they lost to the Galaxy again, this time 1–0 on a golden goal by Carlos Ruiz.
Consecutive MLS Cup finalsEdit
After losing in the conference finals in 2003 and 2004, the Revs repeated their 2002 feat finishing tops in the east and losing the cup final to LA 1–0 in extra time again in 2005. New England had a real chance to win their first MLS championship, in MLS Cup 2006, against the Houston Dynamo. After Taylor Twellman scored in the 113th minute, the Revs allowed an equalizing header from the Dynamo's Brian Ching less than a minute later that sent the game to penalty kicks, where the Revs lost 4–3.
In the 2007 season, the Revs made it to two cup finals. The 2007 MLS Cup was a rematch from the previous year, though the result was the same as Houston defeated New England 2–1. The Revolution hold the record for most losses in MLS Cup games. Though they lost the 2007 MLS Cup, they defeated FC Dallas to win their first-ever trophy: the 2007 U.S. Open Cup.
Their 2002 MLS Cup appearance granted them a spot in the 2003 CONCACAF Champions Cup, but they lost their first match-up 5:3 on aggregate after playing two games on the road to LD Alajuelense. The Revolution again faced LD Alajuelense of Costa Rica in the home and away 2006 CONCACAF Champions' Cup. The "home" game was played February 22, 2006, in Bermuda despite some fans feeling that playing at Gillette Stadium in the adverse conditions of winter in New England could have been advantageous. The Revs failed to advance, as they drew 0–0 in Bermuda and lost 0–1 in Costa Rica.
The 2007 U.S. Open Cup victory qualified the club for the preliminary round of the newly expanded CONCACAF Champions League. Additionally, their top-four finish qualified them for SuperLiga 2008. Therefore, the Revolution competed in four different competitions (MLS, Open Cup, Champions League, and SuperLiga) during the 2008 season. The Revolution had an excellent run at the beginning of the 2008 season. By mid-July, they were leading the overall MLS table and had finished as the number one overall seed in SuperLiga. The team won the tournament, defeating the Houston Dynamo on penalties to earn a small amount of revenge on for their successive MLS Cup defeats. That trophy, however, was the high point for the 2008 Revs. Fixture congestion led to a rash of injuries and general fatigue, and the team crashed out the Champions League with an embarrassing 4–0 home defeat to regional minnows Joe Public FC of Trinidad and Tobago (the tie ended 6–1 Joe Public on aggregate). The team also struggled in domestic play, limping to a third-place finish in the East and losing to the Chicago Fire in the first round of the playoffs. The Revs managed a semifinal appearance in the 2008 U.S. Open Cup, but lost to D.C. United.
In 2009, the Revs continued the mediocrity that had plagued the second half of their 2008 season, losing to Chicago again in the first round of the playoffs. The team also lost to Chicago in the semifinals of the 2009 SuperLiga. 2010 started even more dismally than 2009, with the team failing to put together an unbeaten streak longer than three games until July. Despite the abysmal progress, this unbeaten streak coincided with the Revs' third consecutive SuperLiga appearance, and for the second time in three years, the team made the competition's final, but lost 2–1 to Monarcas Morelia of Mexico.
The team failed to make the playoffs in either 2010 or 2011, and at the end of the 2011 season, announced they had parted ways with manager Steve Nicol, who had managed the team for 10 years.
The team hired former player Jay Heaps as head coach. The 2012 season was another disappointment. In 2013, the team finished 3rd place in the Eastern Conference, making the playoffs for the first time since 2009 with the help of a budding Homegrown Player, Diego Fagundez.
In the April 2014 issue of Boston Magazine, journalist Kevin Alexander named the Kraft family as "the Worst Owners in the League" in an article that contrasted the family's sparkling reputation as NFL owners with their alleged lack of interest in MLS and the Revolution. The 2014 season brought success. The Revolution signed U.S. national team member Jermaine Jones in late August on a designated player contract. They then went on a 10–1–1 streak led by Jones and MVP candidate Lee Nguyen to finish in 2nd place in the regular season in the Eastern Conference. The Revolution breezed through the playoffs without losing a game, making it to their first MLS Cup Final since 2007. New England lost to the LA Galaxy for the 3rd time in the MLS Cup extending their winless streak in their overall MLS Cup appearances.
On September 9, 2017, the Revolution fired coach Jay Heaps. Then came a coaching search that included former players Pat Noonan and Steve Ralston which ended on November 9, when Brad Friedel was hired.
On May 9, 2019, Friedel was fired by the Revolution after a 12-21-13 career record and a 2-8-2 record to open the 2019 season. He was replaced by former DC United, LA Galaxy and USMNT coach Bruce Arena. Under Arena, the Revolution are currently six games undefeated.
Colors and badgeEdit
The club badge is stylized and based on the flag of the United States with some of the stars made into a soccer ball (similar to Adidas' ball for the UEFA Champions League). The overall design mirrors the 1994 FIFA World Cup logo. The Revolution is the last founding team of the MLS to keep its original crest.
Traditionally, the Revolution have worn all-navy at home, with the exception of red shorts during the club's first year in 1996. Since 2014, the club has worn white shorts at home. The Revolution wore white secondary uniforms for their entire existence up until 2015, when the club introduced a red away jersey with white and green accents in tribute to the flag of New England. Since 2011, UnitedHealthcare has been the Revolution's jersey sponsor; its logo is on the home and away jerseys.
- Foxboro Stadium; Foxborough, Massachusetts (1996–2001)
- Gillette Stadium; Foxborough, Massachusetts (2002–present)
- Lusitano Stadium; Ludlow, Massachusetts (2003–2005) 3 games in U.S. Open Cup
- Veteran's Stadium; New Britain, Connecticut (2007–2009) 4 games in U.S. Open Cup
- Jordan Field; Boston, Massachusetts (2013–2017) 5 games in U.S. Open Cup
- Stevenson Field; Providence, Rhode Island (2014) 1 game in U.S. Open Cup
- Chapey Field at Anderson Stadium; Providence, Rhode Island (2017) 1 game in U.S. Open Cup
The Revolution has played its home games in Foxborough, Massachusetts since its inception – initially at the Foxboro Stadium and subsequently at its replacement, Gillette Stadium. It shares the stadium with the New England Patriots of the National Football League.
On June 14, 2006, MLS announced that the Revolution were hoping to build a new soccer-specific stadium. Bids have gone out to local towns around New England to see where the Revs could have a stadium built.
On August 2, 2007, The Boston Herald reported that the city of Somerville and Revolution officials have held "preliminary discussions" about building a 50,000 to 55,000 seat stadium on a 100-acre (0.40 km2) site off of Innerbelt Road near Interstate 93. The stadium could cost anywhere between $50 and $200 million based on other similar soccer-specific stadiums built by Major League Soccer teams. After a two-year hiatus, the Revolution renewed their plans to build a stadium in Somerville since the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority finalized its Green Line maintenance facility plans. In a July 2010 interview, Kraft said that over $1 million had been invested in finding a suitable site, preferably in the urban core.
On November 18, 2014, The Boston Globe reported that the Kraft family had met with city and state officials over a stadium in South Boston on a public lot off Interstate 93. The proposed site is adjacent to an industrial site that has been identified for the main Olympic stadium by the organizing group for Boston's now-failed bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, of which Robert Kraft was a member.
The team's supporter's clubs are called the Midnight Riders, Rev Army, and The Rebellion. The name 'Midnight Riders' is in honor of the famous rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes, who announced the departure of British troops from Boston to Concord at the beginning of the American Revolution. The three groups together occupy the north stand of the stadium, which they have nicknamed "The Fort". The Fort is a general admission section and draws its name from the revolutionary theme which runs through the team supporters.
The official mascot for New England Revolution is Slyde the Fox.
The club's main rival is widely considered to be New York Red Bulls, due to the rivalry stemming from other Boston–New York rivalries in other professional sports such as the Knicks–Celtics rivalry in the NBA, the Jets–Patriots rivalry in the NFL and the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry in Major League Baseball. Beginning in 2002, the Revs had a 20 match undefeated streak against the Red Bulls for games at Gillette Stadium. This streak helped to intensify the rivalry between the teams. The streak came to an end on June 8, 2014, as the Red Bulls won 2–0 at Gillette Stadium.
The Revolution have also built rivalries with fellow Eastern Conference teams D.C. United and Chicago Fire. These teams have faced each other on numerous occasions in the playoffs. In a 2009 poll on the club's official site, New England fans considered the Chicago Fire the Revs' most bitter rival as the clubs have clashed many times in the MLS playoffs and regular season.
All Revolution matches are televised locally in high definition on NBC Sports Boston; nationally televised matches air on ESPN, ESPN2, and Fox Sports 1. All matches are broadcast on radio by WBZ-FM, but this is a simulcast of the TV feed. Brad Feldman handles play-by-play on both TV and radio with Paul Mariner doing color commentary. Matches had previously been aired on WSBK-TV in standard definition.
Players and staffEdit
- For details on former players, see All-time New England Revolution roster.