CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The New England Revolution open the 2023 MLS regular season tonight at Charlotte FC. The opening match of the season kicks off from Bank of America Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET, free to watch on Apple TV. Eric Krakauer and Lloyd Sam have the call in English, with Moises Linares and Jaime Macias providing Spanish commentary. All 14 matches during ‘MLS is Back’ opening weekend are available for free on Apple TV. The Revolution’s local radio call airs on 98.5 The Sports Hub HD2, with Brad Feldman and Charlie Davies calling the action, and on 1260 AM Nossa Radio in Portuguese.
Starting XI: GK Djordje Petrović; LB DeJuan Jones, D Henry Kessler, D Dave Romney, RB Brandon Bye; M Noel Buck, M Matt Polster, M Dylan Borrero, M Carles Gil ©, M Damian Rivera; F Giacomo Vrioni
- Bruce Arena, the winningest head coach in MLS history, enters his fifth season with New England and 19th MLS campaign only two victories shy of 50 leagues win with the Revolution. Arena begins the year with a 48-27-35 record in New England.
- Carles Gil wears the captain’s armband tonight as the 2021 MLS MVP begins his fifth MLS season, all with the Revolution. The two-time MLS Best XI selection needs two assists to reach 50 in MLS, which would equal Lee Nguyen for second most on the club’s all-time list.
- Forward Giacomo Vrioni opens the year in the Starting XI after netting a goal in last Saturday’s 2-1 win over Orlando City SC in New England’s preseason finale. The 24-year-old striker scored one goal in seven appearances in 2022.
- Dylan Borrero, acquired last season as the club’s first U-22 Initiative signing, enters his first full campaign with New England. The midfielder from Colombia owns three goals and two assists through 12 MLS appearances.
- New England’s Starting XI features two Homegrown Players in a season opener for the first time since 2020, with midfielders Damian Rivera (Cranston, R.I.) and Noel Buck (Arlington, Mass.). Rivera, 20, is in his fourth professional season while Buck, 17, scored one goal over seven appearances in his debut MLS campaign last season.
- Matt Polster suits up for his 60th start in a Revolution uniform. The 29-year-old’s next appearance will be his 75th with New England.
- Djordje Petrović, a finalist for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and Newcomer of the Year in 2022, starts his first season opener in a Revolution uniform. The Serbian international registered seven clean sheets and a league-best four penalty kick saves over 21 games started in his debut campaign last season.
- Newcomer Dave Romney collects his Revolution debut in tonight’s match. The ninth-year defender, acquired via trade from Nashville SC during the offseason, pairs up with Henry Kessler in central defense. Romney started all but five league games for Nashville over the club’s first three MLS seasons.
- DeJuan Jones set career-best marks for games started (31), minutes played (2,740), and assists (7) last season. The fifth-year defender earned his first two U.S. Men’s National Team caps in international friendlies against teammates Petrović (Serbia) and Borrero (Colombia) in January.
- Brandon Bye also distributed seven assists in 2022, sharing the single-season record for assists by a defender with Jones. The 27-year-old begins his sixth MLS season.
Bench: GK Earl Edwards Jr., M Esmir Bajraktarevic, M Latif Blessing, M Emmanuel Boateng, M/D Joshua Bolma, D Omar Gonzalez, M Christian Makoun, F Justin Rennicks, F Bobby Wood
- Emmanuel Boateng is available as a substitute one day after re-signing with the Revolution following a successful preseason trial. Boateng owns four goals and seven assists over 39 league appearances for New England.
- Revolution newcomers Latif Blessing and Bobby Wood, both acquired over the offseason, are available off the bench tonight. Blessing was acquired via trade with Los Angeles FC after helping the Black and Gold win MLS Cup and the Supporters’ Shield last season. Wood, who owns 45 caps and 13 goals with the United States, spent the last two seasons with Real Salt Lake after an accomplished career in Germany.
- Tonight’s group of reserves features two Homegrown Players in forward Justin Rennicks and midfielder Esmir Bajraktarevic.
- Venezuelan midfielder Christian Makoun spent part of the 2022 season with Charlotte FC, collecting 13 appearances before joining New England via trade.