Following Week 13 of the 2020 MLS season, Major League Soccer announced their team of the week. On the team of the week starting lineup was none other than New England Revolution rookie center-back Henry Kessler. The 22-year-old scored his first career MLS goal on Wednesday night in a 3-1 win over the Montreal Impact.
Kessler was also solid defensively with the University of Virginia product being credited with two tackles, 80% passing accuracy, and a total of 42 touches. The Revolution drafted Kessler with the number six overall pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft. So far this season Kessler has impressed with 13 appearances and 10 starts. When pressuring opponents Kessler in 124 attempts has a 41.9% success rate. His pressure success rate ranks sixth in all of MLS. Kessler also has a 70.6% aerial duel success rate in 34 attempts. Another area in which Kessler has ranked highly in is clearances with 79 ranking 3rd in all of MLS.
The fact that Kessler has already had this kind of success in such a limited time out of college is impressive. Most write-off the MLS SuperDraft but there are certainly gems to be had and Kessler is proof of that.
“I tried to come in as ready as I could in preseason in January expecting that it would be tough. I don’t really know – I guess I prepared myself well,” said Henry Kessler on his transition into MLS. “Certainly, there’s a difference between college and professional. This past college season, I think we kept 15 clean sheets out of 24 games. I don’t see that happening at the pro level. I think it’s more difficult in all phases of the game, including defending. Certainly, clean sheets is something we take pride in and today we would’ve liked one. Everything is just a little more difficult, and some things are a lot more difficult.”
If Kessler is able to hold up this level of play down the stretch then a Rookie of the Year nod could very well be in his future. New England has a total of two MLS Rookie of the Year winners in franchise history with Michael Parkhurst being the last one in 2005 and Clint Dempsey winning a year earlier in 2004.
Revolution Academy Week One Results
This past weekend all four of the New England Revolution Academy teams kicked off their MLS NEXT season with the U-19’s, U-17’s, and U-15’s facing Oakwood SC and the U-14’s taking on NEFC.
U-19’s, 0-1 loss to Oakwood SC
U-17’s, 1-1 draw with Oakwood SC
U-15’s, 2-2 draw with Oakwood SC
U-14’s, 0-2 loss to NEFC
Next weekend the U-19’s, U-17’s, and U-15’s will take on the Empire Academy and the U-14’s will face-off with Valeo FC. All four matches will take place on the road.
In addition to the MLS NEXT campaign there were five current/former Revs Academy players who played for Revolution II at Union Omaha over the weekend.