After eight seasons with the club, the New England Revolution parted ways with veteran forward Teal Bunbury. Teal will head to Nashville SC, and give them not only a veteran presence off the bench, a fantastic character in the locker room but a remarkable person and member of the community. In return, the Revolution received up to $150,000 general allocation money.
Welcome to New England
Arriving in February of 2014, the Revolution acquired the young forward from Sporting Kansas City in exchange for general allocation money and the Revolution number one pick in the 2015 Super Draft. That pick turned into Amadou Dia, who has had a relatively quiet MLS career.
Jay Heaps Years: 2014 – 2017
Teal instantly impacted the Revolution, starting 28 and appearing in 31 games in 2014. Bunbury contributed four goals and six assists and found his footing decently in his first season with the Revolution. Splitting his time mainly with Charlie Davis and Patrick Mullins, he formed a three-person attack that helped lead the Revolution to the MLS Cup Final—the standout moment was his goal at Red Bull Arena in the conference final.
He followed up the strong start in 2014 with two average campaigns totaling six goals and six assists. Due to the arrival of Kei Kamara in the middle of the 2016 season, Bunbury started to see his playing time drop. Although his playing time was at its lowest in 2017, Bunbury still was able to provide strong performances from the bench. In 13 starts and 28 appearances totaling 1287 minutes, Teal scored seven goals and had one assist.
New Regime, More Goals
Brad Friedel: 2018 – early 2019
2018 saw significant changes to the New England Revolution. First was the regime change in the form of new boss Brad Friedel, the second was the departure of primary striker Kei Kamara. The departure left a void for the starting central striker, and Teal took the role by the horns. In his most productive MLS season, he banged in 11 goals and added one assist. The versatile striker had a career year combining with a new wide man Cristian Penilla and long-time teammate Diego Fagundez.
Like many other Revolution players, the beginning of 2019 was rough. Whether it was issues with the coach or not having joy, the entire team struggled out of the gate, and performances were down. This led to a regime change and a change of fortune for both Teal and the Revolution.
The Final Years
Bruce Arena: Rest of 2019 – 2021
While mid-season acquisition Gustavo Bou did take most of the plaudits for the remainder of the 2019 season, Bunbury had his third-best season for the Revolution. He contributed six goals and one assist. In an even bigger help to the team, Teal had the game-winner which confirmed the Revolution back to the playoffs. He followed up 2019 by being the team’s golden boot winner in his second-highest goal total for the Revolution in a weird 2020 season. Taking advantage of his starting time when preseason acquisition Adam Buksa struggled, Teal provided eight goals and one assist.
Having become an integral piece of the offensive side of the Revolution again, 2021 was a bit of a down year for Bunbury. Related to mostly bench appearances in the least number of minutes he ever had for the Revolution, Bunbury supplied three goals in the Supporter’s Shield-winning campaign. Teal ranks 4th overall in goals in Revolution history with 45 and 7th in overall appearances.
The Other Side
Work, Work, and more Work
No matter his offensive production, what endeared Bunbury to the Revolution fan base was his tenacity and defense work rate. Bunbury would run himself into the ground for this team. Defensively he ranks exceptionally high among forwards in every statistical category. While he may not consistently have scored the goals, it never changed his approach. Work hard for the team and never give up on any play.
Off the Pitch
Bunbury will also be remembered for his work off the field during his time with the Revolution. The 2020 and 2021 Humanitarian of the Year for the Revolution has helped affect the community through multiple situations. This past year was the 3rd Annual Back to School with the Revs, where Bunbury helped to raise $15,300 for families in need. They then followed that up by raising over $22,500 helping over 550 families in need with his Teal’s Turkey Club for Thanksgiving.
As someone who stands in the fort, I have yelled Dammit Teal more than my fair share of times and even made a scarf for it. Whether in happiness or frustration, it came to be something that endeared him to the fanbase. His hard work is something that I have always appreciated. The work he showed no matter how the game was going or how he was playing, he never gave up on a situation. That, combined with his work off the field to help the community, makes him someone the Revolution will be hard-pressed to replace. Thank you for helping to bring the Revolution their first piece of MLS hardware.
A consummate professional, Nashville is getting not only a solid player but a fantastic person. I wish him nothing but the best in his new home, except when he plays the Revs, then he can have a stinker.