If you’re unfamiliar with the New England Revolution, join the crowd.
Already a somewhat (and unfortunately) overlooked team in the Hub, the Revs are going into the upcoming season with a ton of new faces — including a few that might make even the diehards ask, “Wait, who?”
But maybe that’s a good thing.
The Revs missed the MLS playoffs last season for the first time since the 2001 season. From ’02 to ’07, they went to (and lost) four MLS Cup finals. Since then it’s been rather disappointing, with the team unable to make any noise come playoff time.
The retirement of star striker Taylor Twellman was part of what forced New England to rebuild toward a brighter future.
But don’t assume “rebuilding” means losing. The team, while relatively inexperienced this season, has the same expectations it had when it went to three Cup finals in a row.
“I think it’s been the same every year I’ve been here — it’s to make the playoffs,” veteran goalkeeper Matt Reis said. “Once you get into the playoffs in this league, anything can happen. We have obviously a lot of new faces and we’re working to get those guys in and get us all playing together.
“It’s a work in progress.”
The Revs (9-16-5, 32 points) finished sixth out of eight teams in the Eastern Conference last season.
For that reason, they signed a pair of Frenchmen — midfielder Ousmane Dabo and defender Didier Domi. The two hope to use their experience to help make a surprise run at the postseason.
“I think we’ve had a lot of changes, so [that might put] us under the radar or not,” Reis said. “But we were on the outside looking in last year in terms of postseason play, and we want to change that this year.”