Welcome to New England: The Veterans


New Revolution Veteran Signings

Looking to add depth and strengthen the overall squad going into the 2022 season, the Revolution has started early by adding some pieces. Trading with the LA Galaxy, the Revolution added creative attacking midfielder Sebastian Lletget. As well, signed veteran defender Omar Gonzalez, who Toronto FC did not re-sign.

Omar Gonzalez and Sebastian Lletget Welcome Images. Photocredit: New England Revolution Communications

Sebastian Lletget

Da Boy Has A New Home

The 29-year-old attacking midfielder US international comes to the Revolution looking for a fresh start after seven seasons with the Galaxy. A California native, the creative midfielder joined the youth academy for West Ham United in 2009. Making a single first-team appearance in the FA Cup for West Ham, Seba moved back to California in 2015. In May of that year, the LA Galaxy traded for his rights from, ironically the New England Revolution. He spent the following seven seasons with the club.

Sebastian Lletget playing for West Ham. Photocredit: MLS Soccer Media
Back in the US

Lletget netted 30 goals and 20 assists in his seven seasons with the Galaxy. In his debut season for the Galaxy (2015), he netted eight goals and had two assists in all competitions. Sebastian followed that up with an ok sophomore MLS season before a foot injury curtailed his 2017 season. Since then, he has been a solid contributor to the Galaxy with at least three goals in the following four seasons. His second-best return was during this time. In 2020, he provided six goals and three assists.

In the National Spotlight

Lletget was brought into the US National team set up in 2017 by Bruce Arena. Since then, he has been a regular fixture for Gregg Berhalter. Out of 42 games since 2018, Lletget has featured in 27 with 16 from the offset. In his time with the USMNT, Berhalter has mainly used him used as a wide midfielder. Berhalter has used a 4-3-3, and he is typically on the left of the block of three midfielders. While not his natural fit, he has filled in serviceably and provided eight goals and three assists in all appearances.

Sebastian Lletget and Matt Turner bonding at USMNT Camp. Photocredit USMNT Communicatoins
What He Brings to the Table

By nature, Lletget is a creative midfielder. His addition should help the Revolution become more fluid offensively. He should complement Carles Gil in creating opportunities for Adam Buksa (provided that he stays) and Gustavo Bou. I also see his addition giving the Revolution more flexibility from a formation standpoint. As someone who has been used on the left side of the midfield, he can also give this team options. Whether in a 4-2-3-1 or a 4-4-2 with a diamond, his versatility will help, but more on that in the future.

Omar Gonzalez

Finally Another Player Taller Than Me

The 33-year-old center-back is entering his fifteenth professional season. Joining the Revolution after Toronto FC decided not to resign him, Gonzalez is with his 3rd team in MLS in what will be his eleventh season. Primarily a right-sided center back, at 6’5″, he not only adds much-needed height (I am 6’3,” and there was only one player taller than me on the roster) but veteran experience in the back.

Welcome to MLS

Drafted third overall in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of Maryland, Gonzalez instantly impacted the Galaxy. The 2008 National Champion became a regular starter right out of the draft. In his seven years with the Galaxy, Omar anchored the backline to three MLS Cup Championships and 2 Supporter’s Shields. He was also a valuable ironman since, outside of 2012 when he injured his ACL, he has never had under 20 appearances for the club. Coached by Bruce Arena his entire time in LA, Gonzalez is a player Arena knows well.

Omar Gonzalez with New England Revolution Host/Reporter Elizabeth Pehota. Photo credit: Kurtis Burke – Elizabeth Pehota Twitter
To Mexico and Back

After the 2015 season, Gonzalez looked for a challenge outside of MLS and found it in Liga MX. He moved to Pachuca, where while he did not have the same overall success, he was able to win both the CONCACAF Champions League and the 2016 Liga MX: Clausura. After four years in Liga MX, he returned to MLS with Toronto FC midway through the 2019 season. Again, he was a key cog for Toronto defensively, and while the numbers overall for them were not great, he shows his strength and goal acumen with three goals in the 2021 season. For your information, this would have tied him for fifth in total goals scored on the Revolution.

What He Brings

A former Rookie and Defender of the year in MLS, Gonzalez adds more veteran presence and depth to the Revolution backline. With his primary side being the right, for a center-back pairing, he gives cover for perennial Revolution Iron Man Andrew Farrell in a season where the Revs will be involved in more competitions than they have before in a single season. I also think he will be a good player for shenanigans king Henry Kessler to learn from as they have similar game styles.

What They Bring

Why These Two Guys?

In Lletget and Gonzalez, the Revolution add two veteran pieces that Bruce Arena knows and trusts. Similar to the signings of AJ Delagarza and Emmanuel Boateng, these guys know Arena and his temperament.

Lletget is looking to find the same success he achieved early in his career under Arena. I think the change of scenery and the players he is now around will help. While LA has a lot of talent, they do not have the same fluidity as when Lletget was first in the league. Hopefully, the veteran will take some of the creative workloads off of Gil’s shoulders, giving the midfield magician more time on the ball.

Gonzalez is good depth and a veteran presence for the backline. He can help provide cover on the right side of the center-back pairing and has big-game experience. His size and game style should also help develop Kessler into a better beast in the back. And as stated earlier, he adds height, something the Revolution have needed to add, in my opinion.

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