FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Since transitioning to outside back his rookie season, Brandon Bye hasn’t been shy about getting forward into the attack. Bye is, after all, an attacker by nature, having spent his four-year career at Western Michigan University as a winger.
But the former No. 8 overall SuperDraft pick, now in his third professional season, continues to fine tune his game, and this year he’s been working on sharpening his service, making sure the final ball into the box is finding a target more often than not.
Through two games, the results of those efforts have been unmistakable.
“He’s continuing to improve year after year,” Teal Bunbury said of Bye’s service. “Getting forward, he’s playing better balls into the box. I think all around he’s great getting back defensively, but on the attacking end, he’s getting sharper and sharper every game.”
“Certainly an improvement from last year,” added head coach Bruce Arena. “He’s done well in that regard.”
According to Opta, Bye currently leads MLS with three big chances created through two games. He has officially registered just one assist – on Adam Buksa’s first MLS goal – but he also played the final ball that set up late-game chances for Tajon Buchanan and Justin Rennicks the past two weekends.
Last year, Bye totaled six big chances created in 30 appearances.
“Practice every day,” Bye said when asked what he’s done to fine tune that final ball. “Come out here and train, and work on things that you have to get better at. That’s what I’ve done my whole life, but over the last couple years, and I like to see that balls are getting in good opportunities now.”
Bye also added one assist in preseason, and his ability to pick up his head, find a target, and deliver the killer ball has been a vital weapon for the Revs as they’ve generated 21 chances through two games, sixth-most in MLS according to Opta.
“We want to obviously score goals this year and create as much as possible,” said Bye. “Starting from the back all the way up I think everybody’s doing a good job of seeing things and creating those opportunities.”