Four years ago today the New England Revolution played and lost their fifth MLS Cup Final, their third against the LA Galaxy. Since then there has been some major roster overhaul and so let’s take a look at where the eleven players fielded by the Revolution in 2014 are in 2018.
GK: Bobby Shuttleworth | Minnesota United
Bobby was hit-or-miss among Revs fans. Either you hated him or he was your favorite player but in 2014 he was solid in goal leading up to and during New England’s playoff run. Bobby was traded in 2016 to Minnesota United in exchange for the return of recent expansion draft selection Femi Hollinger-Jansen. Shuttleworth has been the Loon’s primary keeper for the past two seasons making 58 appearances in goal and will return for a third year.
LB: Chris Tierney | Retired
Described as a homegrown before homegrowns, Chris Tierney loyally left it all out on the pitch for the Revolution for over a decade. An incredible crosser of the ball, Tierney‘s left footed ball into Charlie Davies propelled the team back to MLS Cup. There, he scored the equalizing goal late on a run all the way into the opposition 18-yard box from leftback. Unfortunately, his career ended after he tore his ACL in May 2019 and announced his retirement in November.
CB: Jose Goncalves | NorthEast United
The only international in the entire starting eleven, Goncalves was a fantastic centerback for his first 2 seasons with the Revolution but his performances steadily declined along with the Revolution’s success after 2014. He left in January of 2017 and joined NorthEast United in India.
CB: AJ Soares | Retired
AJ Soares’ departure after the 2014 season has always been regarded as one of the main reasons for New England’s downturn as they have not been able to sufficiently replace his dominance in the center of defense. He moved to Norway in 2015 but was forced to retire due to injury in 2016.
RB: Andrew Farrell | New England Revolution
Drafted first overall in 2013, Andrew was thrown into a cup final in just his second season as a professional. At the time he was highly regarded among US Soccer circles but with the defense falling apart without Soares and Goncalves, his potential would eventually diminish. Farrell had a good season in 2018 but he is still prone to making silly mistakes and costing the Revs goals.
CDM: Jermaine Jones | Retired
When Jermaine Jones was signed in the summer of 2014 it was a huge deal for the club. After a great performance at the World Cup, Jones not only brought fans into the seats but he completely turned around the team and led them to a second place finish in the East, not to mention MLS Cup. Jones left after the 2015 season due to a money dispute which seemed like a bad decision for the next 6 months but Jermaine found himself becoming injury prone and after moving to the Galaxy in 2017, he was hardly a shadow of his former self.
CDM: Scott Caldwell | New England Revolution
The Revolution’s second ever Homegrown player, Scott Caldwell had 2 terrific seasons playing alongside Jermaine Jones. His passing skill and vision of the field was unparalleled in MLS and was seen as one of the most underrated players in the league. Unfortunately, Brad Friedel has turned him into a chicken without a head and Caldwell’s role has changed from a deep-lying playmaker to a rambunctious, aggressive fouler.
LM: Kelyn Rowe | New England Revolution
Rowe had little impact in the 2014 playoffs but over the next few years his role in the team grew and grew. Kelyn was visually frustrated in 2018 after a poor campaign and as I’m writing this, it is likely that we don’t see him back with the Revs next season.
CAM: Lee Nguyen | LAFC
Despite departing in an unfortunate manor, Lee will always be regarded as one of the best Revs of all time. After being picked up off waivers in 2012, Lee rejuvenated his career, reaching his peak in 2014 with a MVP-worthy season. Nguyen sadly was substituted in MLS Cup due to injury which was a massive blow to New England’s chances.
RM: Teal Bunbury | New England Revolution
Bunbury was a very highly rated young prospect when he was drafted by Sporting KC and was able to fulfill some of his potential with the Revolution in 2014. He scored a beautiful curling goal in Red Bull Arena in the Eastern Conference Final first leg and was mere inches away from scoring in MLS Cup to give the New England a 2-1 lead. Teal led the line for the Revs in 2018 but after a hot start, dropped off in the summer.
ST: Charlie Davies | Retired
Davies is easily one of the best guys to ever wear the blue shirt. His unrelenting determination helped him lead the Revs to MLS Cup with two huge goals in the ECF second leg victory over New York. Charlie now works for the organization as Club Ambassador.
Looking back at this team, credit needs to be given to the Front Office for building such a strong, domestic roster. Lee Nguyen, Teal Bunbury and Charlie Davies were all diamonds in the rough while the acquisition of Jermaine Jones completely changed the season. If the Revs want to make it back to MLS Cup they need to be willing to spend money, especially in today’s MLS which is unbelievably different than just a few years ago. But, they also need to continue to develop young Americans both in the academy and from the draft. Bye, Angking, Caicedo and Firmino are destined to be New England’s next group of core players and if Friedel and Burns do their jobs, we could be seeing them lead another Revs team to MLS Cup.