In February, New England Revolution II added Trevor Zwetsloot to the roster. Traditionally a midfielder, Zwetloot has the ability to shift back to help cover as a center back or play as the deep-lying defensive midfielder. A New Zealand youth international through the U-20s, he also has ties through his family to represent the Netherlands or the United States. Let’s take a look at what he brings to Revolution II this coming season as well as if he has the potential to make the jump to the first team.
Zwetsloot’s Footy Beginnings
His competitive side likely was helped along by the high school he attended. Zwetsloot went to Westlake Boys High School. At WBHS, they divided students into different “houses” (yes, just like Harry Potter). Each house would compete against each house in the school in athletic events, academic events, and so on. Trevor’s house was Smale, named after a local entrepreneur.
The midfielder started out in the New Zealand youth clubs and training camps in Auckland, New Zealand. He trained with Wynton Rufer’s academy, WYNRS, in his early teen years. Rufer is a former New Zealand international, who performed very well in the Bundesliga. Wynton was named Oceania’s Player of the Century.
Zwetsloot was a member of the Waitakere Academy up until 2015. The WA paved the way for Trevor to be seen by the Club level of soccer in the area. In 2015, joined East Coast Bay’s Premier program at the age of 15. His training with ECB ended up earning Trevor an invitation and scholarship to train with the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL in 2016.
Being a part of the IMG Academy, he played against MLS Youth Academies and also at times, the US Youth teams. In a Super Y League game in 2016, his U-18 IMG Academy team faced off against a USYNT U-17 team. That team fielded Bryan Reynolds, Ayo Akinola, and Josh Sargent, all now big names in Europe and MLS. While in Florida, he ended up earning a college scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in early 2017.
Europe Comes Calling
Shortly after, Zwetsloot had earned the scholarship to UNC Charlotte, a European team that scouted him came calling. That team was none other than Werder Bremen, looking to add him to their academy U-19 team. From 2017 to the summer of 2018, Germany’s youth leagues were his home. For Trevor, this was a huge opportunity because he knew they appreciated Kiwis. In this case, it wasn’t just any New Zealanders, it was a former club of Wynton Rufer, one of the people who shaped Trevor’s love for football. “Wynton’s reputation over in Germany is massive, so there is a lot riding on being a Kiwi there because he’s such a phenomenal legend of the club.” Trevor stated for Stuff (a publication) in NZ. Rufer helped to facilitate the move from IMG Academy to Werder.
Trevor featured in 10 regular-season games for the U-19 squad while riding the bench in two more. He also played his part in the Quarter Finals of the DFB-Pokal der Junioren 2018 being subbed in toward the end of the match which went to extra time. He continued to finish strong for 30 minutes in the match, seeing out the 0-0 draw with 1. FC Kaiserslautern U-19. The defensive midfielder went on to score his 5th-place penalty kick continuing a PK bout that took 14 kicks to decide. Kaiserslautern ended up winning and was the eventual runners-up in the Cup.
Werder Bremen II
Zwetsloot went on to perform well enough for the U-19s that he was promoted to Werder Bremen II in mid-2018. They made the decision to sign him to the professional contract before he aged out of the U-19 academy. During his time with Werder Bremen II, he was also very active with the New Zealand National Team U20s. This explains a good portion of his absences with the Bremen second team in 2018/2019. All together, Trevor only found actual game time in the stoppage time of a game in December of 2018. Other than that cameo, he managed to make the bench four more times throughout the 2018/2019 season. While with WB, it’s likely he could have learned from strong midfielders like Davy Klassen in training matches with the first team. His time training with Werder Bremen definitely lead directly to his time with the New Zealand U20s.
Trevor Zwetsloot And New Zealand U20s
It’s been said that Zwetsloot needed FIFA clearance to be called up for any time with the New Zealand youth teams. His parents are Dutch and American. The amount of time he spent as a kid in NZ from 2 to 15 allowed for citizenship to exist. That information and clearance must have come in mid-2018. Trevor joined first time with the U20 squad in late July 2018 while they took on camp to prepare for the upcoming U19 OFC Championship. The midfielder went on to play in each game heading toward their eventual Championship win. He earned them a place in the U-20 World Cup for Oceania. Not only did Trevor play 280 minutes out of those games, but he scored the 2018 OFC Championship game-winning goal. That goal provided New Zealand with their entrance to the U20 World Cup.
Between the OFC Championship and his next chance with NZ U20s, Zwetsloot was training and playing with Werder Bremen II. Trevor continued on to be called back up in May 2019 prior to the U20 World Cup for a friendly against South Korea. He spent that match on the bench. Still, he found his way on the roster for the World Cup. Trevor subbed into the second game of the group stage against Norway in stoppage time to ensure a win. Then, he started against Uruguay three days later, which became a nine-minute stint, as he ended up injured. That instance would go on to bench him for the near future, a bad ACL injury. This also ended his time with Werder Bremen II, as they did not renew his contract, likely due to the injury.
Recovery In NZ And Revs II
From June 2019 to February 2021, Trevor Zwetsloot, a once highly touted New Zealand international, found himself without a club. Trevor needed to recover from his rough injury, a good year and a half definitely did the trick. The midfielder ended up finding himself back in New Zealand and joined up with a semi-professional team, Melbourne Knights. The Knights played in New Zealand’s NPL Victoria. While with Melbourne, he found a large amount of game time, appearing in over 1,000 minutes worth of play over the length of 2021.
Revolution II And Where He Can Fit In
The New England Revolution second team picked up Trevor in February 2022. Zwetsloot will make his return to professional soccer with Revolution II in the newly minted MLS NEXT Pro league. He is one of quite a few strong additions to this team heading into new territory. With the loss of Tiago Mendonca to injury last year, it was made clear that we needed a player who could walk onto this team and start in his position.
Looking back at the tape of Trevor and his abilities, he is absolutely a great fill-in for Mendonca. He has pinpoint accuracy out from the back, something that Tiago could do very well. If Trevor can link up with the many strong strikers and wingers added to this team, it will only improve the squad on the whole. As well, he has a similar strength to Mendonca in the tenacious tackles that he performs. Overall, I see the New Zealand international as an extremely important piece to this recently sculpted roster.
If Trevor comes into this squad and bosses the midfield, I can absolutely see Bruce Arena giving him a chance to show up for the first team eventually. Zwetsloot has found himself in multiple instances of professional soccer at this point. His maturity at every level that he’s played at should make it an easy transfer to MLS.