FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Arlington, Mass. native Noel Buck has been named the UnitedHealthcare Revolution Academy Player of the Year for the 2020-21 MLS NEXT season. The current New England Revolution II midfielder and 2021 Revolution Academy graduate becomes the seventh different recipient of the honor.
Buck, 16, joined the New England Revolution Academy in 2017 at the age of 12 and went on to make 66 appearances across all age levels for the program. In total, Buck scored 11 goals at the youth level while playing as both a forward and midfielder. During the abbreviated 2020-21 MLS NEXT campaign, Buck suited up six times for the U-17s, scoring one goal and registering two assists, before ascending to the professional level with New England’s developmental side, Revolution II.
Buck signed his professional contract with Revolution II in June 2021 and finished the season as one of two players to appear in all 28 USL league One games for New England. The teenager ranked second on the team with five goals and added one assist. Buck made his professional debut with Revolution II when he earned a spot in Clint Peay’s season-opening lineup on April 10. On May 16, he became the first Revolution Academy player to score a professional goal with Revolution II. He collected his first career assist, a game winner, on July 9 against Toronto FC II.
“We’re extremely proud of Noel Buck for his growth as a player and as a person during his time so far in our pro pathway program,” Revolution Technical Director Curt Onalfo said. “Noel sets a tremendous example with his dedication, work ethic, and his ability on the field, which helped him earn valuable minutes at the professional level with Revolution II. Noel is well deserving of this honor and has a bright future ahead of him in our club.”
Previous winners of the UHC Academy Player of the Year Award include Homegrown Players Zachary Herivaux (2014) and Justin Rennicks (2015, 2016), followed by Joe Brito (2017), Kevin Vang (2018), Tyler Freitas (2019), and Trevor Burns (2020).