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2013 NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION SEASON PREVIEW
Fresh off a season that was disappointing by the team's standards, the New England Revolution are set to prove that they're better than their 9th-place finish in the standings during 2012, and are looking to make great strides in the coming season. As one of the original founding franchises of the MLS, the Revolution are still searching for their elusive first MLS Cup, and have made a series of acquisitions in the offseason to make major postseason run. The Revs will have many primetime matchups in the coming season, including a May 11 matchup with the New York Red Bulls, a showdown with MLS champion Los Angeles Galaxy on July 6 and a home finale on October 19 against the Columbus Crew.

After what many New England Revolution fans dubbed a rebuilding year in 2012, the 2013 season looms large as a chance for the squad to build upon their additional experience and put it together in time for a playoff push. Although the Revolution experienced growing pains last season, they still managed to avoid last place in the Eastern Conference and played their opponents tight throughout the majority of the season. With an offseason full of turnover and new faces on offense and defense, head coach Jay Heaps will have to show that the team has the talent and skill needed to build a resurgent squad in 2013.

Over the offseason, the Revolution parted ways with goalkeeper Tim Murray, midfielders Alec Purdie, Michael Roach, Fernando Cardenas, Blair Gavin and defender Flo Lechner, but the team believes they have found a slew of adequate and more efficient replacements. The team went out and made a splash with the number one pick of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft by picking up defensive phenom Andrew Farrell, as well as signing Jose Goncalves and Bilal Ducket to strengthen the unit overall. The team is also hoping for scoring contributions from newcomers like midfielders Andy Dorman, Kalifa Cisse and Scott Caldwell, as well as forwards Matt Horth and Chad Barrett. With such a bevy of new players, only time will tell whether the Revolution can gel in time for a major playoff push.

As the team approaches the 2013 season, they will hope to see increased production out of midfielder Lee Nguyen, who was the only player on the squad to appear in the first 30 matches of the 2012 season. Additionally, the team will need to see more scoring opportunities from forward Jerry Bengtson, who was a highly touted prospect before he donned a Revolution uniform for the first time in the 2012 season. The team will face four playoff teams during the first six matches of the season, so Revolution fans will know right away whether their team has the talent and staying power to make a serious playoff push during the 2013 season. Ultimately, it will come down to improving the team's scoring, which has lagged in recent years, and getting off to a strong start to get past some of the inconsistencies that could occur with a squad with so many new arrivals.

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10/20/2014 11:21:42 AM on TCWEB2