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MLS 101: New England Revolution Edition

The New England Revolution, or the Revs as they are called, are one of the best teams in the history of MLS, but they have very few trophies to show for it. In fact, other than their SuperLiga title (2008) and one US Open Cup win (2007), their mantle is bare. They are definitely the Buffalo Bills of MLS, having lost the MLS Cup Final four times.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not bashing the Revs. I think Steve Nicol is a great coach. Since he took the reins in 2002, they have qualified for the playoffs every season and last year was the first during his tenure they failed to make it to at least the semifinal. But, one cannot deny that his team has failed to show up on the biggest stages.

NER still has played some consistently good soccer though. Taylor Twellman, Sharlie Joseph, Jay Heaps, Matt Reis and Steve Ralston have made the team a perpetual contender. Earlier legends also made the team strong, including John Harkes, Jose Cancela, Clint Dempsey, Andy Dorman, Joe-Max Moore and Alexi Lalas.

But, until the Revs hoist the MLS Cup, they will never be considered a truly great team. It’s a shame too because Nicol and his core group deserve a title. Maybe it will come in 2009, who knows? If not, I am betting owner Robert Kraft (who also owns the New England Patriots) will be patient. Unlike many owners who are quick to throw a coach under the bus, he has stood by Nicol and I am betting Stevie will eventually reward him with a title.