Can Arena Bring the Glory Days Back to New England?

Just a couple of seasons ago, New England Revolution finished first in MLS under Bruce Arena, but the Revs have had a tough time since. With the new season on the horizon, can Arena get New England back to their best and challenging for silverware in 2023?

Can the Revs Make Playoffs?

As we look ahead to the new MLS season, can the Massachusetts club get off to a flying start and put some points on the board early doors? 

With seven playoff spots available in both divisions, New England Revolution will be looking for a top-seven finish in the Eastern Conference at the very least. The top tier in America is among the biggest leagues in the world, growing in popularity year after year and will likely become a regular fixture in world football news in years to come.

Last season, New England struggled to build on their memorable 2021 campaign. They were excellent under Arena in 2021, finishing first place. They had one of the best squads of players in MLS and fully deserved to win the division. Unfortunately for the Revs, despite being the favourites, they missed out on MLS Cup after losing to eventual winners New York City in the Conference semi-finals.

This year’s MLS could be wide open. Several clubs look capable of winning the league this term, which should make for a fascinating and unpredictable campaign. Looking at the latest odds, Los Angeles are the favourites to make back-to-back MLS Cup triumphs, while Philadelphia Union and LA Galaxy have been tipped to do well.

2023 will be different for fans, as after the recent law change, , and three retail sports betting sites opened in the state in late January. Names such as Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel offer , meaning fans can look for offers that suit their needs. This now means the state is competitive when it comes to bonus types, as fans can now choose offers like risk-free bets or parlay insurance.

Of course, Arena’s boys will have their work cut out in a competitive Eastern section, but New England will fancy their chances of finishing in the top seven. If they make the playoffs, anything is possible in the end-of-season lottery.

In terms of recent additions, Dave Romney has arrived from Nashville, and on the dotted line at Gillette Stadium from Los Angeles. Jack Panayotou, Bobby Wood and Josh Bolma have also been brought in over the winter.

Looking Back on 2022

2022 was a tough year for New England. After such an impressive 2021 season, the Revs were tipped for more success before a ball was kicked. However, they made a dreadful start, winning just one of their opening six games and losing four in a row to boot.

New England picked up from May to July, putting together a solid ten-game unbeaten run, claiming four wins and drawing six. However, inconsistency was a real problem, as they went on a six-match winless run right after.

Arena’s troops ended the season with three losses from their last five. They suffered successive defeats to New York Red Bulls, Houston Dynamo and Montreal, though they finished up with a win over Atlanta United before a 1-1  on the last day of the regular season. 

They finished in tenth position in the Eastern Conference, claiming ten wins, 12 draws and suffering 12 defeats. Along the way, the Revs scored 47 and conceded 50 goals. The Greater Boston outfit was six points behind seventh-place Orlando in the race for the playoffs.

Will Experienced Arena Guide Revs to Glory?

Despite New England’s troubles last term, Arena is one of the most experienced coaches around in MLS. The 71-year-old managed the United States from 1998 to 2006 and returned to the national team for a year in 2016. He has also been in charge of the New York Red Bulls and LA Galaxy in recent years.

During his managerial career, Arena has won the MLS Cup three times at Galaxy and twice at DC United. He also guided the USA to three CONCACAF Gold Cups from 2002 to 2017. Can the experienced coach guide New England to MLS glory in 2023?