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New England Revolution

Revolution’s Quest For A New Venue Could Be In Rhode Island



The New England Revolution have played at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough Massachusetts since the team’s inception. Gillette is a welcoming venue that seats 70,000 fans, plenty of room for Revs fans. But the issue is this, the 70,000+ seats.

As I write this post I am sitting in the press box of Gillette watching the Revolution take on top-ranked Toronto. The crowd is modest given that New England’s playoff chances are little with a season filled with disappointment close to being in the rearview.

There are 22 teams in MLS, in terms of attendance ranking New England is 15th with an average of 18,160 fans attending 14 matches through September 23rd. That number is down from 2016’s 20,185 per game average. Much of that decline has to do with the team’s lack of performance with a disappointing 2017 season. Another reason for the lack of growth could be the venue location and the lack of easy access to public transportation.

Gillette was built for the Patriots. A team that plays in the NFL and sells out the venue for every home game no matter the time of year given their success over the last two decades. When the Revs were a startup franchise in a young MLS it made sense to save money and keep the team under the Kraft roof of Gillette. But now with MLS growing and teams around the league showcasing huge attendance numbers, it is time to analyze why New England has fallen so far behind.

Part of it could be the public perception of the team. Turn on a CSNNE broadcast of the game or come and see one in person and you will witness a stadium that is far below a 50% full marker. This gives off a no interest in the team narrative that is simply not true. There are plenty of fans in the New England area that love this Revs team, but not enough to fill a 70,000 seat stadium every home game.

Bringing up the stadium built for the soccer team story isn’t anything new. Robert Kraft has talked about his own desire publically to build a stadium dedicated to the team. But his reliance on government funding shows the billionaire isn’t willing to go all in on his MLS franchise. Kraft’s importance to soccer in the United States shouldn’t be understated though. Along with being a charter member of MLS he has helped land the United States global soccer competitions and is vying to land a World Cup for the U.S.

But every Revs fan has seen the owner fail to invest in his soccer team and fail to actually pony up and nail down logistics for a new stadium.  Building a venue with 30,000 seats should be the goal. Where should it be will be the real question.

There is plenty of room around Gillette with cheap land owned by Kraft himself. But that would defeat the purpose of separating the two while keeping the team away from public transit. A spot closer to Providence or to Boston would make the most sense.

With a limited amount of home games, each season keeping the venue filled on other days will be key. For that reason, the new soccer stadium could be used for the home games of the Boston Cannons, college teams, and others in the area. Boston and Providence are both littered with colleges and universities with athletic programs. There are plenty of options to keep events going on a consistent basis when the Revs are out of town.

Massachusetts Not Willing To Play Ball

Publically it feels like government officials aren’t that interested in lending a helping hand. Kraft has issued statements with the latest coming earlier in 2017 talking about the Bayside Expo location.

“In 2015, we were invited to put together a stadium proposal for the former Bayside Exhibition Center site. Since then, we have invested millions of dollars and thousands of staff hours to design and structure a venue that would benefit UMass Boston, the City of Boston and serve as an asset to the surrounding communities, with an operating plan that would benefit all local constituencies. We were committed to a fully-funded, privately-financed stadium that would have totaled an investment in excess of $250 million. There was also a full-value land lease to UMass that would have provided annual payments to the university. As is the case with any development opportunity, there were numerous hurdles to overcome and we regularly adjusted our plans to cater to the needs of the project. Unfortunately, and for reasons beyond our control, it has been determined that this project is not feasible to pursue on this site at this time. It is our goal to continue to seek development opportunities where we can invest in a soccer specific stadium that will benefit its surrounding communities while giving our fans and our players a venue they will be proud to call home for generations to come.”

This location is one that would work for Boston residents and access to key public transit through the MBTA. The issue is that negotiations imploded back in April leading to the above statement.

A Boston location or a spot located near that metro hub seems highly unlikely with no city officials willing to play ball.

“I’m not sure where else in Boston we could put a soccer stadium that would have the infrastructure,” Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh told WGBH. “We have to think and see where else potentially this could go in the city.”…

Public funding for an MLS specific venue is almost unheard of in the United States and has never been done in the New England area with the team playing at Gillette. There is a chance that talks with UMASS Boston pick up again at some point. But a suburban area could be in their future.

Now is time to float an original idea out there for a new location for soccer.

New Idea That Could Provide An Easier Route

Down in Rhode Island, there is currently a heated debate on public funding for the Boston Red Sox AAA Affiliate. The Pawtucket Red Sox are looking for a new home. Lawmakers have been back and forth with leaders unsure and skeptical of using public money to assist that ownership group.

But what if the Krafts and the PawSox ownership group link up. Obviously, both play completely different sports with different field shapes. But it wouldn’t be unheard of. New York City FC plays their home games in Yankee Stadium. So there is a track record in MLS of baseball-soccer stadium sharing.

A Rhode Island stadium would be built with both sports in mind. A design isn’t something I can offer, but scheduling can be done to make it work for both sides. A one stadium build would save money and keep the venue filled all year round. Pawtucket has already laid the groundwork with lawmakers and have scouted potential locations for their ballpark.

There are towns and cities in the state that have played ball with them and if Kraft comes onboard access to public funding could be more readily available with a joint bid. Maybe it isn’t a single stadium, maybe it is a complex with both venues. But two heads are better than one. Maybe there is something here, maybe there isn’t. But it is time for something different. Playing in a proper venue is a good start.

Tanner founded Trifecta Network in Spring of 2016 and has been the Chief of Content for the Network since that time. Currently Tanner covers all the sports teams in Boston and has contacts in many of the teams in the city. Before starting Trifecta, Tanner was a Site Expert for the FanSided site Chowder and Champions before leaving to cover Boston teams on the ground as a member of the media for Trifecta.

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New England Revolution

All The Must Watch Games For Revolution Fans This Weekend




With only 3 games left in the season, every game for the Revolution is a must win. They are still mathematically in the playoff hunt, but they will have to rely on many other teams if want to continue their season past the October 22 end date for the regular season. Here are all the games that you should keep your eye on this weekend.

Orlando City SC vs FC Dallas

How to watch: 4:00 ET, Univision in Spanish, Facebook in English 

Wednesday’s win against the Revolution saw Orlando equal their playoff chances. However, that momentum they gained will go up against a team in FC Dallas that broke a 10 game winless streak this week. Dallas is in a tight race for the playoffs out west and will also need a win if they want to stay above the red line. Orlando City and FC Dallas have only met twice in the past two years with Dallas winning each previous match.

Toronto FC vs New York Red Bulls

How to watch: 7:00, MLS Live

We would not be talking about playoff chances if it weren’t for an extra time goal conceded by New York Wednesday against DC United. That goal tied the match and forced Red Bulls to drop points. They will go up against the league-leading supporters shield favorites Toronto FC. This does not mean that there will be a mismatch though. Toronto most likely will not be playing their top 11 considering they are in no rush to bring back the injured Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco. When these two teams met earlier this year the match finished 1-1.

Columbus Crew SC vs DC United

How to watch: Saturday, 7:30 ET, MLS Live

If the Revolution make the playoffs Columbus will most likely not be the team they steal their playoff spot from. That said it is still a mathematical possibility for Crew SC to lose the rest of their games and clear way for another playoff contender. This will be a tough one to imagine them losing against a DC United side that is last in the east. Columbus is one of the hottest teams in the league having gone seven straight games without a loss. DC have found a way to pick up points in their last two matches including the fastest four goals scored in the history of the league by former Revolution draft pick Patrick Mullins. In their only match this year, the Crew beat DC 2-0. They will clinch a playoff berth if they win on Saturday.

Philadelphia Union vs Seattle Sounders

How to watch: 1:00 ET, ESPN

Again, a longshot  to make a huge impact on the Revolution’s playoff chances. But, the Union are still a mathematical possibility. They will face a Seattle team that sits relatively comfortable place in an uncomfortable western conference. The Sounders got their first win in 6 games Wednesday and our still fighting to increase their seeding in the west. The last time they met last year Seattle beat the Union 2-1. If Philadelphia tie or lose Sunday, they are out of the playoffs.

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Heaps Out, But Who’s to Blame in New England?



New England Revolution

Heaps Out, But Who’s to Blame in New England?

Hope springs eternal one week into the post-Jay Heaps era for the New England Revolution after a surprise 2-1 victory over table-toppers Toronto FC on Saturday. But despite taking three points from their first match since the skipper’s dismissal last week, the Revs will likely need to win out and receive a good bit of help to avoid missing the MLS Playoffs for a second consecutive year.

Who’s to blame for the slide into mediocrity since their 2014 MLS Cup appearance? Heaps was the first on the chopping block, yet many have questioned Revolution General Manager Mike Burns as well. Voices around the league from prominent agents, to national soccer writers, to the Twitter artist formerly known as @FakeJayHeaps have pointed to the GM’s culpability.

Burns stepped into his role as GM at the same time as Jay Heaps was brought before the 2012 season. In the build to 2014, he played a role in earning the Revolution a reputation for drafting well, utilizing homegrown players and making clever low risk-high reward acquisitions. Is any of that true in 2017? Has it been true since 2014?

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New England Revolution

EA Sports Releases FIFA Ratings. Here’s How The Revolution Stack Up.





The importance of the FIFA video games series is undeniable. The game in recent years has become one of the world’s highest selling and most popular video games. Within that, there has be a huge growth of sales in America. More sales in FIFA sees more Soccer viewership on TV and at live matches in the United States. As someone who didn’t play soccer growing up, FIFA was my introduction into the world of the sport. While playing FIFA I learned the strategy and nuances of the game. I learned how to build a patient attack and to appreciate a less glorious position like central defensive midfielder for their importance in the game.

FIFA 18 comes out this Friday and promises real individual player motion technology, authentic stadium atmospheres, and a continuation of last year’s story mode “The Journey”. There will even be a release on the Nintendo Switch which along with NBA 2K18 will be the console’s first major third party sports release. In advance of this, EA Sports has released all the ratings for each player in the game through their Ultimate Team cards on the FUT Database on the EA Sports FIFA website.

This means that we get an early look at what the New England Revolution will look like in the game. The developers have appeared to given the Revolution an accurate representation. The depth at attacking positions is evident and the the shakiness in defense is there. Players like Benjamin Angoua have gone down from a 74 last year to a 71. And Josh Smith has gotten a boost to 64. If there is one major gripe with the ratings it is that Lee Nguyen, one of the most talented players in Major League Soccer, is only a 75. He doesn’t even crack the top 20 players in MLS. Nguyen should at least be a 77 or 78 so he can rank among Romain Allesandrini and Michael Bradley as a top midfielder.

Here are the Revolution’s overall individual ratings in order along with their listed position.

CAM Lee Nguyen - 75

ST Kei Kamara - 74

St Krisztian Nemeth - 72

CB Benjamin Angoua - 71

ST Juan Agudelo - 71

LM Diego Fagundez - 71

CB Antonio Delamea - 70

CAM Kelyn Rowe - 70

CB Claude Dielna - 69

CDM Xavier Kouassi - 69

RB Andrew Farrell - 69

CDM Gershon Koffie - 68

LB Chris Tierney - 67

ST Teal Bunbury - 67

CM Scott Caldwell - 66

GK Brad Knighton - 66

GK Cody Cropper - 66

RB London Woodberry - 65

CM Daigo Kobayashi -64

RB Je-Vaughn Watson - 64

CB Joshua Smith - 64

LM Donnie Smith - 63

ST Femi Hollinger-Janzen -60

ST Brian Wright - 59

CM Zachary Herivaux - 58

GK Matt Turner - 52


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