Saturday, January 19, 2019

Preseason Look: New England Revolution

The New England Revs mark my halfway completion point for the Eastern Conference. Perhaps it is a fitting spot for them, right there in the middle. Tucked away. A team everyone wants to play home, but never wants to go play away (because of the surface and atmosphere, not the team).

New England has a bit of a Frankenstein roster build so far. I see recent pick-ups like Edgar Castillo (32), Cristian Penilla (27), Luis Caicedo (22), and Juan Fernando Caicedo (29) and think that they are going for it. Unfortunately, this is sort of what the Revs do each season. Reach.

The "core" of the team is basically the same as it has been since 2014 - Fagundez, Caldwell, Farrell, Bunbury and Agudelo. Two more core longtimers that could have still been with the team were it not for extreme measures. Poor Chris Tierney had to retire to get out and Lee Nguyen had to transform into a bad dude to live free. Fine players, but you are telling me that they haven't found enough players in 5, now going on 6 seasons, to replace these guys in the 18?

71Cristian PenillaLeft Winger707271
70Edgar CastilloLeft-Back717070
70Diego FagúndezLeft Winger647370
70Michael MancienneCentre-Back707068
69Juan Fernando CaicedoCentre-Forward7169
69Andrew FarrellRight-Back666969
69Juan AgudeloCentre-Forward696967
68Teal BunburyCentre-Forward667068
67Matt TurnerGoalkeeper666967
67Antonio DelameaCentre-Back676867
67Wilfried ZahiboCentral Midfield657067
67Luis CaicedoDefensive Midfield666768
67Scott CaldwellCentral Midfield676865
66Jalil AnibabaCentre-Back636866
65Brad KnightonGoalkeeper656569
65Cody CropperGoalkeeper656564
64Gabriel SomiLeft-Back646366
61Brandon ByeRight-Back596165
61Zachary HerivauxCentral Midfield615862
59Brian WrightCentre-Forward585963
54Isaac AngkingAttacking Midfield545463
0Nicolas FirminoMidfielder
0DeJuan JonesForward
0Tajon BuchananForward
0Justin RennicksCentre-Forward

The frustrating thing about the Revs is that they fish, fish, fish for players outside this average core group when they'd almost just be better off finding similar ones to the 2014 group I just listed. New England is a tough sell for good players. The weather is chilly, the surface sucks, it's in a cavernous NFL stadium, attendance for games range from 2k friends and family to 16k on a nice summer Saturday night.

The Revs are sitting on a roster of 25 players and 14 of them just arrived last year.

Player Ratings (avg)TransferMarkt Value (000)
1ATL70.965.9$ 40,695$ 4,703
2NYR69.764.9$ 15,653$ 2,903
3CLB69.366.2$ 19,125$ 3,240
4NER68.764.5$ 10,293$ 3,965
5PHI68.056.1$ 8,015$ 4,106
6FCC67.564.7$ 8,538$ 3,398 

Despite the feeling I have about this team (they stink), they do have a fairly decent starting XI so far, and by that I mean - strong enough to get them the same finish as last year. 6th or 7th place in the East.

Preseason Look: NY Red Bulls

For the 5th Eastern Conference team evaluation, we've got 2019 Supporters' Sheild winning Red Bulls who have been mostly good for years now. Before we get to the roster, let's update some team vitals:

Player RatingsTransferMarkt Value (000)
1ATL70.965.9$ 40,695$ 4,703
2NYR69.764.9$ 15,653$ 2,903
3CLB69.366.2$ 19,125$ 3,240
4PHI68.056.1$ 8,015$ 4,106
5FCC67.564.7$ 8,538$ 3,398 

Atlanta is still on top of my leaderboard, with NYRB and Columbus not far behind. I've got that table sorted by "Starters" average player rating, which is why NY are edging out Columbus. Looking over to the right you see that the Crew have a better bench and more value on the roster.


New York has a hole to fill with Tyler Adams getting promoted up to RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga and their bench being slightly thin in the central midfield department. Right now I've got Florian Valot or Alex Muyl trying to fill Adams' shoes, but both are a measurable drop off. 

It is entirely possible that this opens the door for 18-year-old Ben Mines, who is with the U19 US National team, to move in and get regular time. The Red Bulls, more than any other MLS team perhaps, are comfortable inserting young players. Particularly regional ones. Mines seems to have a bright future.

72Bradley Wright-PhillipsCentre-Forward717872
71Kemar LawrenceLeft-Back667471
71KakuAttacking Midfield687571
71Aaron LongCentre-Back677371
71Michael MurilloRight-Back657271
71Tim ParkerCentre-Back687371
70Sean DavisCentral Midfield697170
69Luis RoblesGoalkeeper687469
68Daniel RoyerLeft Winger657468
67Amro TarekCentre-Back677166
67Connor LadeRight-Back696767
67Florian ValotRight Winger596772
67Ryan MearaGoalkeeper666769
66Alex MuylRight Winger666667
64Derrick EtienneLeft Winger576864
63Anatole AbangCentre-Forward646263
63Vincent BezecourtAttacking Midfield616366
63Brian WhiteCentre-Forward576363
62Andreas IvanRight Winger586462
62Kyle DuncanRight-Back596273
62Cristian CásseresCentral Midfield576262
57Marcus EppsRight Winger5763
56Ben MinesRight Winger5659
56Jean-Christophe KoffiMidfielder5659
53Evan LouroGoalkeeper5359
0Rece BuckmasterDefender
0Roy BoatengDefender
0Sean NealisCentre-Back
0János LöbeLeft Midfield

As far as the rest of the roster, they are returning a bunch of starters and MLS familiar faces like Robles, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Tim Parker, Aaron Long, and Kemar Lawrence. I think the biggest battle for the team will be whether or not they want to climb the mountain again. They will be a hard out with the defense they have right now. All of them rate above 70, which means good and no weak links.

One final note here: There are a few reports that Kaku might be on the way out. If so, then it's another team in the East that will be missing a number 10. Either way, NYRB seems to find a player that fits in well enough, often even within their own team dev system. This team is a comfortable playoff team.