26 Years, No Longer The Same
The Supporters Shield is now home in New England, where it belongs. The Revolution supporters, fans, and staff have been waiting a long time for this. Our club President Brian Bilello for example, he has been by our side for 18 years and now finally gets to hold an MLS trophy! We all know that being close to this team definitely has a rollercoaster effect on emotions.
After 26 seasons of following this team, it’s an amazing feeling to earn a trophy from the league. We all love to shout about the Superliga and the US Open Cup…but this is a different sort of yelling. From what I’ve seen and from what I can’t wait to feel for myself, this trophy brings the most amazing smiles. All of us fans of the Revs, if you were here 2 years ago or 26, there are hurts, failures, triumphs, indifferences that we all have ridden this ride through to this end. To finally have a trophy to our name after such a commanding season at the top of the league is just serotonin consistently injected into the bloodstream.
That last point is really the kicker. Bruce Arena has brought this team some amazing moments. Even if this team didn’t achieve in the past two seasons what this team did this year, they still always showed fight. This year, that fight developed into a belief of not only being comfortable down a goal. The team knowing it is possible to even secure a win after going down a goal or two. This team has combat the normal #NERevs feeling of never having any hope. Teams of the past would have had a problem coming back from a deficit. It’s great to feel a confidence in your team you support.
A Different Revolution
The Revs went to Orlando recently. They had already clinched the Supporters Shield. Still, the team fought back from 2-0 to tie within a 20 minute period. Showing jaded supporters (like a lot of Revolution fans are, myself included) that this team is different. It’s what this fanbase has been waiting upon for decades now. Bruce Arena joined this team and revitalized the players that have been here for years. The players have bought into the training and abilities of their teammates. It’s clear this is one of those special Revs teams that just look like a group of friends with some amazing chemistry.
The other difference that has happened for this team this year is a backing. The amazing run this team has had is bringing out people who had lost faith. That’s all fine and dandy, it helps, every fan helps. But, beyond all that, is the backing of the media. The players of other Boston teams coming out and acknowledging this team and it’s players. There’s a lot of hype around this team and the players that play on this team are here for it after being forgotten for awhile now. “These Are The Guys?!?”
Supporters Shield Feeling
Between when I started this piece and when I finished it, I finally got to hold the shield and spend some time with it. The feeling is immense that I could actually hold it in my hands. Also, getting to watch the Riders past presidents walk down with it to bring it to the current Rebellion and Riders presidents was a great touch. I’ve been a Midnight Rider and Revs fan since day one. So, watching the originals hold the Supporters Shield proudly down through the fort bringing it to the current Riders and Rebellion presidents was *chef’s kiss*. Obviously, I hope we get to hold one more trophy this year, but this feeling will keep me riding high for a long time. Let’s move on to the MLS Cup Playoffs!
Was just looking through Jeremy’s write-up on the first game this season, and well…to go from there to here is…I’ll just let Jeremy and Chris tell you.
Jeremy And Chris’ Thoughts
Trophies, Trophies, and More Trophies
I have been lucky in recent seasons with my support of Chelsea. On both the men’s and women’s sides, the club has been phenomenal. In the last year, those two sides have won five trophies combined. There is something special, though, about the first league trophy. I still remember the emotional reaction I had the Chelsea winning the Champions League in 2012 for the first time. While this was not as intense, it will always be something I remember. There was a simple emotion of pure joy knowing that this team finally had a piece of league silverware.
While some may not hold it in high esteem due to its history, the Supporters Shield is special. The supporter’s groups created it to reward regular-season success. This trophy stands alone in being awarded by the supporter’s groups to the club instead of the league. This Revolution side is unique; they have found a way to inspire a fandom of pessimists into ones who have expectations for great things. Winning this trophy is a special moment that will forever go down for the Revolution, next up MLS Cup.
This year has been wild for me. From Derby County almost getting relegated to League One to getting hit with a 12 point deduction for entering administration, there has not been much to cheer for. Unless you focus on my team here in the states. To say that this season has exceeded expectations for me is an understatement.
If you told me back in March that the Revs would not only have their first Supporters Shield in history, but also write their own place in the MLS history books by having the most points in a season, I would have called you crazy. This club has shown so much tenacity and determination this season, that even if I wasn’t a fan, they would be the type of team I can still get behind. Watching Carles Gil slice and dice his way through opposing defenses is not like, it IS, watching a master at his craft. With the shield and and the points record in hand, there is only one way this season can end. The Revolution have, to me, their best shot at lifting the cup come December.
If they don’t, it will be more difficult next season, as they will be without the services of Tajon Buchanan, an integral part of the offense this year. I don’t normally have a whole lot to cheer for football wise, but this year feels different for me. Revs give me hope for the first time in a while, and I hope to see the stadium packed to the gills with fans, new, long timers, young, old, and everybody in between. Hope to see you in December, and as always, GO REVS!