FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Bruce Arena is a man of his word.
“We’d like to have this team together in preseason and go all the way through, and see where we land in the end,” Arena said back in early November when the New England Revolution made their first offseason signing, Alexander Büttner. “I think it’ll be beneficial for us to have a full group in place when we report for preseason.”
Fast forward two months and – for all intents and purposes – Arena has his roster in place. Five more players arrived before the close of the calendar year as Adam Buksa and Samba Camara joined via the international market, Kelyn Rowe and Seth Sinovic returned to their former club as free agents, and Damian Rivera signed as the seventh Homegrown Player in club history.
Factor in a returning core featuring the likes of Gustavo Bou, Carles Gil, Teal Bunbury, Andrew Farrell, Cristian Penilla, and Matt Turner, and the Revs will kick off preseason preparations next weekend (January 18) with the nucleus of their roster already signed, sealed, and delivered.
Before preseason camp gets underway, however, there is the matter of the 2020 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas, set for Thursday, January 9 (12:30 p.m. ET). It’s an opportunity for Arena and his staff to potentially flesh out the rest of the roster by bringing in talented young players fresh out of college.
While the SuperDraft has continuously evolved in recent years – gone are the days when teams built through the draft – there will be players selected on Thursday who immediately contribute to MLS clubs in 2020. Brandon Bye and DeJuan Jones – first-round SuperDraft picks in 2018 and 2019, respectively – are prime examples, as both saw significant time with the Revolution their rookie years.
The Revs hold another pair of first-round picks on Thursday (6th and 13th overall), as well as two second-round selections (30th and 43rd overall), and with those picks they’ll be aiming to add some young talent to the squad. And with their very own USL League One team in place for the first time (Revolution II), there’s a clear pathway for development through the organization.