At the end of the 2001 season, MLS saw its first teams cease operation with the Miami Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny folding. Their players were subjected to the Dispersal Draft. The New England Revolution seemed to have made out like bandits, securing the services of offensive players like Mamadou Diallo, Diego Serna, and a guy by the name of Steve Ralston. MLS rules have always required a bit of imagination, and at times, seemingly requiring some sort of sorcery and witchcraft.
Through one of these exact instances, the Revs were able to draft a young player named Taylor Twellman, who had played two seasons at 1860 Munich prior to being able to be drafted because he was of college-age. Despite not being expected to take Diallo’s spot, Taylor took the opportunity and the rest is history. 20 years later, and we’re looking at one of the best Revs teams since the end of the Golden Years.
CARLES GIL AND THE REVOLUTION ATTACK
Carles Gil is undeniably the best playmaker this team, and maybe the league has ever seen. The thing we’re still missing is a player like Twellman. Teal Bunbury is going into his eighth season with New England, and it’s still hard to tell what you’re going to get from him. It’s no secret that he can be very streaky, and ranges from red hot to ice cold. While he earns props for leading the team in scoring last year, eight goals are hard to brag about at too much length. Gustavo Bou could very well have had eight or more this year. During the Gil injury, Bou stepped up to the plate. It didn’t suit him as well as letting La Pantera just lurk around the box and pounce on mistakes. Not unlike Teal, Gustavo’s biggest problem is that he’s not getting any younger.
Adam Buksa came into the team, a 23-year-old from Poland. With the whacky COVID-19 situation that he was thrust into last year, Adam also spent most of the year without Gil pulling the strings in midfield. Buksa certainly looked a lot more promising in the playoff run with Gil out there. He had four chances off the woodwork, and one goal, to add to the six he got in the regular season.
This is where it gets interesting to me. Two of our main attacking options are on the wrong side of 30. Buksa is a year too old to be classified as a young DP. To me, this says that if Buksa and Bou aren’t in competition for that spot, they should be.
THE YOUNG GUYS
We were able to see some of Justin Rennicks last year. Some of us will never forgive him for hitting that sitter off the post on March 7th. After the end of the Revolution II season, he was up to the first team for the playoffs. Rennicks definitely showed some signs of improvement. Bruce clearly rated him as a player, so I’m excited to see what he can do this year.
The first-round draft pick signed to the first team this year was Edward Kizza. Many expected him to get drafted higher. Most regarded him as one of the most talented strikers in the class. Controversy seemed to have other teams shy away. It wouldn’t be wrong to see this as a huge gamble. If issues arise, the team could be left with egg on their face. If Kizza excels in an offensive role, the Revolution has done some fantastic business.
The whole team benefits from less invasive COVID-19 protocols and a full season of healthy Carles. As well, in my opinion, the ball is in Adam’s court. If he can’t outperform hot-streak Teal and can’t be bought down from a DP tag, I don’t see him staying in New England. I’m going to take more of a liking to the Revs II games this year. I think Kizza and Rennicks will be an interesting offensive battle going forward.
Feel free to send me a tweet or a follow @Erik_BullockMA. If you want to tell me I suck or let me know who you think will win the Rennicks-Kizza battle.