Noel Buck Signs With the First Team
Revolution Academy prospect and Revolution II player Noel Buck has signed an MLS Homegrown contract with the New England Revolution. At 16 years old, he becomes the second youngest Revolution homegrown signing in club history. He is signing a four-year deal with a club option for a fifth, tying up the young talent to the Revolution for the foreseeable future.
From Academy to Revolution II
At the slender age of 12, Noel Buck joined the New England Revolution Academy in 2017. In his three years across all age groups, he made 70 appearances with 12 goals. This includes an abbreviated year in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic, though Buck played with the U-17 side six times, scoring once. A reminder that he was 14, playing with the U-17s shows his ability to handle playing with and against stronger people.
His performances at the academy helped him be identified for the next step, and in June of 2021, the homegrown product signed his first professional contract with Revolution II.
Following the steps of other homegrown prospects, Justin Rennicks and Damien Rivera, Noel Buck began the transition from Academy to professional. Debuting in the season’s opening game while still with the Academy, he became one of only two players to appear in all 28 games for Revs II. Playing 1920 minutes, Buck made 22 starts for Revs II, providing five goals and one assist.
His defensive and passing stats were more impressive than the minutes he tallied at a 16-year-old playing against professionals. He completed 83.8 percent of all passes, 57.8 percent of his long passes. Buck also created 28 key passes in big moments, which should have led to more than his lone assist as well as 11 successful crosses. Defensively he had a 66.7 percent successful tackle rate winning 50 percent of his duels, 39.4 percent of his ariel duels.
These defensive stats stand out considering his age and stature at 5’11” and 160 pounds. It shows that he has the talent and ability to play beyond his years. His success also garnered him 2021 Revolution Academy Player of the Year honors.
Becoming a Homegrown Signing
Coming into the preseason, the big news about Noel Buck was his time training over in England with Nottingham Forrest’s U-23 team. With his dual citizenship between the US and England, moving to a team in the English pyramid would not have been difficult for the budding talent.
The Revolution brought him into the preseason with three other players from Revolution II. His play for Revs II and the hard work he put in, not only leading into the preseason but also in the first week of camp with the first team, the Revs had seen enough and signed him to a first-team deal. This works twofold, not only showing him that they’re committed to growing him to the first team but also means that if someone in Europe wants him, there will need to be a transfer fee.
WHat this Means
Buck has impressed at every level of the Revolution’s system. While only 16, he seems to have a great deal of potential if he continues to grow. I do not expect him to get much playing time with the first team this coming year. Hopefully, he will get on the bench and see some playing time during the US Open Cup. Due to the number of competitions this coming season, he could see some time on the field. There are also going to be loftier expectations for him with Revolution II. Going into the new league will present new challenges for Buck, and he will need to step up again.
The other big thing will be the training. Being able to learn and grow from practicing alongside players like Matt Polster, Carles Gil, Andrew Farrell, and Omar Gonzalez. His good behaviors will only continue to improve, and his skills will grow. In his first interview after signing for the Revolution, he has already shown his maturity. He impressed the media core, as well as, the veteran Revolution reporters and creators Elizabeth Pehota and Jeff Lemieux.
The other big takeaway is that Revolution II will continue to pave the way for more homegrown talent. It continues to show the clear path for an Academy player to reach the first team. By showing them the commitment, if we see you are talented enough, we will bring you along with it helps those younger players strive for success.