- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On March 4, 2009
- 2 Comments
- 2009 Season Preview, Gabriel Badilla, Kheli Dube, Season Previews, Steve Ni, Steve Ralston, Taylor Twellman
ast year the New England Revolution were the hot club from May to August. Shortly after winning their first SuperLiga title many thought the Revs were going to be unstoppable and win the MLS Cup. Things didn’t turn out that way as the Revs collapsed in the final months of the season and barely looked like the club that dominated the summer months. After a long and rough winter it is time to see if Steve Nicol got his troops regrouped enough to return to their normal glory and domination of the eastern conference.
2008 record and finish: 12-11-7, 43 pts., third in east, lost in first round of playoffs.
Offseason Player Movement:
Michael Videira (2008 draft pick, played in Scotland instead of MLS)
Kevin Alston (SuperDraft)
Zach Simmons (undrafted free agent)
Ryan Maxwell (SuperDraft)
Jose Angulo (waived)
Adam Cristman (trade w/KC)
Khano Smith (Seattle Sounders FC – Expansion Draft)
Doug Warren (waived)
Michael Parkhurst (via free transfer to FC Nordsjaelland – Denmark)
Joe Germanese (contract not renewed)
Gary Flood (contract not renewed)
Brandon Manzonelli (contract not renewed)
Brandon Tyler (contract not renewed)
Sam Brill (waived)
Questions going into 2009:
1. With the loss of Michael Parkhurst, who will step up for this club?
That man has to be Gabriel Badilla. He was brought in for that very reason too a year ago. I wouldn’t be at all shocked to see more help come from Africia or South America once the season kicks off. You know that since Steve Nicol found guys like Kheli Dube and the two young Gambians last year that he will go the extra mile to improve his defense with the loss of Parkhurst this year.
2. Can Steve Ralston and Taylor Twellman remain healthy long enough to push this club back into the MLS Cup picture?
If the defense wasn’t a big enough question surrounding this club than this is right up there with it. If the Revs even want to dream of post season glory they need these two at their best for the majority of the year. When things were really good last year it was due to Ralston making things happen in the midfield and Twellman putting things home in the attack. When both when out with various injuries a year ago the club never looked the same offensively.
3. Player to watch out for this season.
I think the key for New England does rest in Kheli Dube this year. I really felt Dube should have been the rookie of the year a season ago but injuries late in the year hampered his chances at that award. When Dube was paired with Twellman in a couple games you could see some magic on the field. I think a full season with them both healthy will go a long way in getting the Revs back into the MLS Cup contention.
Look at the 2009 Schedule:
The Revs once again have to deal with some SuperLiga action late in the summer. Thankfully for them their schedule isn’t nearly as heavy as it was a year ago. Early on in the year they spend a good part of their time on the road. Six of their first nine games are on the road with a couple games being back-to-back.
Once summner hits the club should be enjoying more time at home. I think June and July will be a time for them to really pick up some points if the injury bug hasn’t hit this club already by then.
Late in the year will be rough if the club is struggling to reach the playoffs. They end the year with Columbus twice and Chicago once.
2009 Season Outlook:
Obviously the club wants to look past what happened in the fall of 2008 and move on to 2009. They’ve seemed to have reloaded based on their draft and getting 2008 pick Michael Videira back on their roster. This group still remains mostly the same as the last few years with additions here and there to counter the exports out.
Overall I still have to consider New England one of the top dogs in the east. The younger players on this roster will really determine where this club goes this season. Still I fully expect more players to be brought in before the summer months. Playoffs shouldn’t be an issue again btu getting back to MLS Cup rests on the shoulders of Ralston, Twellman and Badilla.