After a grueling stretch of nine losses in the middle of the season, it seemed like the Revs were going down an ugly path similar to what Revs fans witnessed at the end of the Stevie Nicol era. With a summer containing multiple acquisitions of big name players in MLS, the Revs’ front office was yet again criticized for the minimal moves in the transfer market. With a silencing and somewhat fortunate signing of Jermaine Jones, the Revs finally had a big name player that was recognizable to the neutral soccer fan in the United States. Jones has certainly helped the Revs on the field, scoring two goals and adding four assists in his first 10 games. His stardom, backed up by his presence on the USMNT roster this summer in Brazil, has made the Revs a legitimate team in the largely competitive sports market of New England. His presence in the midfield adds a defensive stalwart in front of the back four that was missing significantly after Andy Dorman was injured midway through the season. Jermaine’s defensive responsibilities are paired with his ability to keep possession for the team and link up with the array of attacking minded players on the Rev’s roster. This will be vital for the Revs in postseason play as they look to spur counterattacks through Jones’ defensive work-rate.
In the playofffs the Revolution will be facing the Columbus Crew in the first round, in a two-game aggregate series. The Crew isn’t an unfamiliar foe to the Revs as the teams played three times this season with the Crew winning twice. With Andy Dorman returning fit and seeing some minutes this past match, it’ll be interesting to see if Heap’s inserts the Welshmen over Rowe or Caldwell who’ve been discreet, but consistent this season. Another question mark for the Revs will be Diego Fagundez. Fagundez racked up the goals and awards last season and will hope to revive his somewhat quiet season in the postseason. After not starting a match since September 20th, the youngster was given the nod from the start against TFC and created multiple chances, which is a positive for him and the Revs heading into November.
The chemistry and atmosphere surrounding the Revs should pose a large advantage for the team this postseason. If the Revs can manage to stay clean at the back and combine up top, they have a decent chance of making a run at the title this year. But as the MLS playoffs have proven before, it’ll be hard to top the LA Galaxy, who seems untouchable in the postseason in recent years. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Galaxy dedicate their efforts to having Landon Donovan leave the soccer stage as an MLS Cup Champion.