The New England Revolution are down in Arizona for their preseason training and workouts before kicking off their season against the Seattle Sounders on March 8. After a stellar 2014 MLS campaign, the Revolution are working on adding some new faces and continue to build team chemistry going into the new season. Here are some of the up dates from camp as well as thoughts about certain moves going on with the team.
Juan Agudelo Returns:
The biggest news of all things Revolution this offseason, centers around Juan Agudelo. New England did a massive house cleaning during the beginning part of the 2015 offseason. Since clearing out a majority of the forwards, New England knew that finding the right players to fill that void was important, re-enter, Agudelo.
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The young forward spent just a half a season with the team in 2013, but did contribute seven goals and one assist during his time in New England. Now that he is back in New England, the Revolution feel much more secure at the forward spot. Albeit, the team needs to find a way to add a little more depth, but the team is looking good at this early stage.
The Revolution are 1-1 in preseason action. New England started off their preseason campaign with a nice 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake on a rainy afternoon. Goals came from Charlie Davies and newcomer Sean Okoli. Jay Heaps continues to experiment with his squad during scrimmages, but continues to start a majority of more preferred players in the first half of each game.
New England lost their second game of preseason action yesterday, by a score of 2-0 to the Vancouver Whitecaps. Agudelo saw his first action with the team since making his return. Both goals scored by the Whitecaps came against Brad Knighton, not Bobby Shuttleworth. Vancouver will be a good contender in MLS this season, so seeing them click early in preseason is encouraging for fans.
Coach Heaps is doing the best he can without some of his best players. Three big names for the Revolution are off on International duty for at least another week. Those players are Jermaine Jones, Lee Nguyen and Diego Fagundez. While Jones and Nguyen are consistent starters, Fagundez adds more attacking options up top and out wide, but did not see the field a lot towards the end of last season, something he hopes to change this year.
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Players on the move:
Two of New England’s former players are now in Europe, those being Dimitry Imbongo and Stephen McCarthy. Imbongo is taking his talents to Austria, where he will play for Kapfenberger SV (KSV). McCarthy on the other hand is headed to Finland, where he will play for Kuopion Palloseura. Neither player was a dominant part of the team while in New England, but the organization does with them both the best in their newest adventures.
It appeared that fan favorite, AJ Sores was headed to Italy to play for Verona, unfortunately, it seems like the deal might not happen for him. He remains with the Revolution until a deal is worked out, since the club owns his MLS rights.
The Revolution will return back to the Boston area for a brief training stint until February 14, when the club will head back to Arizona to compete in the Desert Diamond Cup.