Just one year ago, Revs fans were mourning yet another wasted opportunity. After putting together the best regular season in league history, New England made an early exit from the playoffs. Then fans had to watch NYCFC, the team that eliminated the Revolution in penalties, cruise past a Covid-weakened Philadelphia Union on their way to becoming MLS Cup champions.
It was all there for the taking, and the team fell short. It was both a familiar and wholly different kind of devastation than Revs fans were used to.
Luckily, it was a short offseason. With the playoff run and a winter-World-Cup forcing an early start to the 2022 season, Revs fans didn’t have to wait long to watch their team take the field anew. A condensed offseason kept the news rolling through at a reasonable pace.
Fast forward to today and we find ourselves in the opposite situation. New England failed to make the playoffs, ending their campaign on October 9th. That’s a whole 52 days earlier than last season. With MLS playoffs, MLS Cup, and now the World Cup all taking place in the meantime, waiting for Revolution related news can feel like…
This isn’t to say there has been no news. The Revs signed former US international Bobby Wood in the reentry draft, after 2 injury plagued years in Salt Lake City. They also signed 17 year old Santiago Suarez to Revs II, with the intention to bring him along to the first team in 2024.
I’ll go into detail on those signings in a future article, but in the meantime….
What were the best Revs Goals of 2022?
New England is running a bracket style poll through December 9th to determine which was the best Revolution goal of the season.
Voting is underway for the #NERevs Goal of the Season! Cast your vote for a chance at a Revolution Prize Pack ⚽️ 🙌
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) November 30, 2022
There were plenty of solid goals in 2022, but here are the 5 that stick out to me.
#5: Lletget interrupts Timber Joey
My 5th favorite goal happens to be the 2nd goal of the season. Opening weekend boasted a clash of supposed titans. The record-setting Revs flew across the country to take on the ’21 MLS Cup hosts, Portland Timbers. Nevermind that both teams would fail to make the playoffs in 2022, this game received high billing.
New England took a first-half lead thanks to a Brandon Bye header, but Portland pulled back level shortly after halftime. No sooner than Portland’s “Timber Joey” had begun the traditional celebratory log cutting, the Revs answered back.
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) March 1, 2022
It was Lletget’s first goal in a Revs jersey and for fans of schadenfreude it can’t be missed.
Also in this match: New England gave us our first glimpse of the rest of the season, conceding a late goal to drop 2 points.
#4: Team Goal Dismantles Philly
New England spent most of the latter half of the season desperately trying for any sort of attacking consistency. Injuries to Vrioni, Bou, Borrero, ITS (among others) left the team missing that individual quality that had carried them in 2021.
That’s why a goal like this, where virtually the entire team touches the ball, is so important. The Revs relied heavily on the likes of Bou, Buksa, and Gil in 2021. With Buksa sold to Ligue 1 (and Bou/Gil not getting any younger), playing good free-flowing soccer across the field is so important to the team’s future.
15 passes & a goal, pure champagne football from the Revs. Pretty as a picture. pic.twitter.com/jC2d907jHk
— Matthew Doyle (@MattDoyle76) July 17, 2022
Philadelphia is a good pressing team. The Revs put on a masterclass on how to play through the press. Quick decision making, shifting the point of attack, off ball movement. Capping it off with another Bou-lazo is just the icing on the cake.
#3: Buck shines and Carles does Carles things
Equally important to the team’s future, I’d speculate, is having young talent coming through the pipeline. It appears as though Curt Onalfo et al’s work with the Revs youth academies and second team may be ready to bear fruit. Noel Buck is one of several players coming up from Revs II in the past 2 seasons, and he plays a pivotal role in this goal against the LA Galaxy.
17-year-old Noel Buck has come on and changed this game for the Revs.
And obviously that's a pretty nice goal from Gil! pic.twitter.com/L0qADDDNdJ
— Matthew Doyle (@MattDoyle76) August 29, 2022
That’s great poise on the ball, as he sneaks away from 2 defenders, for a 17 year old. Hopefully he continues to develop and contribute for the club for years to come. Meanwhile, Carles Gil nestles his shot perfectly into the top corner while surrounded by 3 defenders. Classic Carles.
#2 Paper beats rock. Rock beats Scissors. Scissors beat Cincy.
C’mon, you didn’t really think you’d make it through this list without seeing Lletget’s scissor kick goal against Cincinnati, did you? It’s flashy. It’s audacious. It’s got panache. It looks good in a suit…. I’m losing the thread a bit here. Just watch the goal.
Scissor kick and bicycle kick goals are popular for a reason, and this is a well taken scissor goal. The level of difficulty places it pretty high for me.
#1: Buksa only scores headers
But not quite as high as another goal from the same game. Buksa’s strike vs Cincy was good enough to lead SportsCenter’s top 10 that day.
Adam Buksa pulls off the flick and finds the back of the net!
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) May 22, 2022
The 6 foot 3 polish striker made his name in MLS with his head, scoring more headers than any other player during his time in the league. This time he decided to head the ball with his foot. His heel, if you want to get specific. It’s a smart run to the near post, but the finesse to be able to redirect it into the net without looking is what earns it top spot.
Which goals am I forgetting? Which was your favorite?