- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On November 9, 2009
- 0 Comments
- 2009 Season Recaps, Darrius Barnes, Jeff Larentowicz, Kevin Alston, Kheli Dube, Matt Reis, Shalrie Jospeh, Steve Nicol, Steve Ralston, Taylor Twellman
Sometimes less is more, and in the case of the 2009 edition of the New England Revolution less nearly became a lot. If you would have told me that the Revs would have lacked both Steve Ralston and Taylor Twellman for the majority of the season and still made the playoffs this year I would have called you crazy.
Turns out crazy happened. The Revs were lead by Shalrie Joseph’s MVP feet all year long and while I believe Joseph played nearly every spot on the pitch except the one occupied by Matt Reis, the Revs ended up getting into the playoffs and nearly came away with a first round shocker over the Chicago Fire. But a trip to the Windy City over the weekend finally did in this group that saw more injuries during a season then any team that I can recall over the last few years.
Offensively the Revs were one of the worst in the league, just slightly behind the New York Red Bulls and the Kansas City Wizards for fewest goals scored this year. Defensively they were middle of the pack, which is impressive after losing Michael Parkhurst and having guys like Chris Albright sidelined for the majority of the season.
The Revs for some folks probably over-achieved in 2009 based on what they had and the amount of injuries they suffered this year. Steve Nicol proved why he is still a quality coach in this league when he plugged in third-round draft pick Darrius Barnes to the lineup, along with fellow rookie Kevin Alston to fill the void left when Parkhurst left over last winter. If you’d throw out out a blowout or two early in the year there is a change this club could have had one of the best defenses in the league. If Nicol can retain the young nucleus and a couple veterans like Jay Heaps in the back this defense could be good for years to come.
What Went Right In 2009:
Having Shalrie Joseph be the MVP that he is and carry the club pretty much all year was good to see. Finally Joseph is getting the long-overdue recognition for his efforts in New England this year. Some how battling through the injuries and making the playoffs as the third-seed in the east is remarkable. They remained consistent enough to get in the playoffs which should help them out in the coming years as the younger group of players mature with this club.
What Went Wrong In 2009:
You lose your best scorer for the majority of the season its always going to be a long year. Twellman played in two games this year, just two and he scored in both! Throw in the injury to Ralston that sidelined him for the most important part of the season, the final couple months and it is still remarkable they reached the post season like they did. This club clearly lacked some offensive punch without these two and at times their defense was a victim of it.
I think keeping Jeff Larentowicz in a Revs kit will be a big thing in the coming months. If I am not mistaken his contract is up after this season and believe me this club would take a huge hit without him on the field. Second of all they have to find some reliable offensive parts. Kheli Dube is good but he isn’t a top scorer yet in this league. Also getting Twellman back to full health will be a big priority this winter. It also wouldn’t hurt to see this club spend some money this winter but we know the Krafts aren’t gonna do that anytime soon.