PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – With a pair of top-10 picks at Friday afternoon’s MLS SuperDraft 2018 presented by adidas, the New England Revolution’s primary objective was to add competition and versatility on the right side of the field, where they felt they were a bit thin.
New England accomplished that goal by selecting Brandon Bye (Western Michigan University) at eight overall and Mark Segbers (University of Wisconsin) at ninth overall, as both players are right wingers who project more as right backs at the professional level.
“Both Brandon and Mark have some qualities that we were looking for in terms of their athleticism and their ability to play multiple positions,” said General Manager Michael Burns. “In a 4-4-2, 4-3-3, they have the ability to play right back or right midfield.”
Burns said both Bye and Segbers are likely “more comfortable” playing in advanced roles on the right wing – they both racked up a hefty number of goals and assists in college – but the duo impressed New England’s technical staff while playing right back at the MLS Combine.
“They both started as right wingers, so they have that versatility to play right wing or right back, or right wingback depending on the position we want,” said head coach Brad Friedel. “We wanted competition for Andrew Farrell on that right-hand side, and we’ve got it in abundance.”
Rumors circulated throughout the week – as they always do – that the Revs were interested in moving up in the draft order, but with their sights set on Bye and Segbers from the start, New England waited patiently and kept their selections at eight and nine.
“We did have backup plans one, two and three if we needed it,” said Friedel. “As it turns out, we didn’t need it.”
Bye and Segbers will be in Foxborough on Monday afternoon when the Revs report for preseason camp, and with a new coaching staff on board, they’ll be given the same clean slate as their new teammates as the competition for roster spots and playing time unfolds.
“Every player is going to come in on a level playing field,” said Friedel. “It doesn’t matter how old you are, how experienced you are, or what your last name is; everyone’s going to get a fair chance to play.”