FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Preseason is quickly approaching for the New England Revolution with players returning to Foxborough on January 18. Each athlete will need to prove their worth in order to earn a consistent place on the first team, and that includes the Revs’ three newest faces selected in Thursday's MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas.
New England made University of Virginia center back Henry Kessler their top pick (6th overall) in Round 1 of the MLS SuperDraft. In Round 2, New England picked University of California right back Simon Lekressner (30th overall) as well as High Point University goalkeeper Keegan Meyer (43rd overall). Kessler was already signed as a Generation adidas athlete, while Lekressner and Meyer will have their chance to make a strong impression during preseason to win first-team roster spots.
Sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena believes these young athletes are joining the organization at the perfect time.
“The three players we selected today are coming into the Revolution at a time that is simply an outstanding environment for these players,” said coach Arena. “We're looking forward to working with them.
“We believe that all three of them have potential one day to be steady performers on our first team. But they're going to need some time to develop. Whether it's in the short term or the long term remains to be seen.”
While these players will still need time to progress after arriving in Foxborough, there is no doubt they'll have the opportunity to get critical minutes. With New England launching their USL League One side, Revolution II, the trio of Kessler, Lekressner and Meyer should have a chance to get important professional experience, even if it isn’t with the first team.
“We have a wonderful situation now with our first team and our second team,” said Arena. “We believe that the players that we took today in the draft will have an opportunity to play an awful lot this next year, whether it's with the first team or the second team.”
Arena firmly expressed that it's not a given this young trio will play for Revolution II. They will train with the first team in preseason, the staff will assess how they perform, and they will be given the same opportunity as every other player already on the roster to shine in those sessions.
“We have to see how they adapt coming in here in training,” said Arena. “They'll be with the first team, no question about that.
“If they need opportunities to play games, there's always the second team during the year. We're going to look at them and place them in a competitive environment like everybody else and see how they hold up.”