FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – For the most part the New England Revolution’s starting lineup in last weekend’s season opener featured familiar faces. That’s by design as the Revolution’s technical staff has worked to bring stability to the roster by establishing and retaining a young core.
But there were two newcomers amongst the starting group as Gershon Koffie and Je-Vaughn Watson made their Revolution debuts after both arrived via trade within the past month.
Koffie started in central midfield and played alongside both Kelyn Rowe and Scott Caldwell before making way for goal-scoring hero Daigo Kobayashi in the 85th minute. Watson played the full 90 minutes at right back and so nearly earned his first assist with the Revs on a Teal Bunbury chance in the second half.
“I thought both Gershon and Je-Vaughn had great games,” said Chris Tierney, New England’s longest-tenured player in his ninth season. “They showed their quality right off the bat.”
It was a promising start for the recently-acquired duo, but it’s not yet a finished product as both players are still adapting to the Revolution’s system and learning the tendencies of their new teammates.
Koffie has been training with the Revs for about three weeks, although he did have the luxury of playing in four preseason matches with New England in the Desert Diamond Cup. Watson only played in one match at the DDC – the championship – and has less than 10 training sessions under his belt with the Revs.
Only more training sessions and more games will provide the necessary familiarity, meaning both Koffie and Watson should see their comfort levels increase as the season moves forward.
“It’s just establishing chemistry,” said Tierney. “These are guys that are relatively new to our group, so it’s going to take some time to get used to their tendencies and how they fit within our team.
“They’re two pieces that are really going to help us, and we’re going to be a better team. It’s just going to take a little bit.”