New England Revolution

New England Revolution
Full name New England Revolution
Nickname(s) Revs
Founded 1995 (1995)
Stadium Gillette Stadium
Ground Capacity 68,756 (20,000 for soccer)
Owner Bob Kraft
Head Coach Jay Heaps
League Major League Soccer
2015 Eastern Conference: 5th
Overall table: 11th
Playoffs: Conf. Knockout round
Website Club home page

The New England Revolution is an American professional soccer club based in the Greater Boston area that competes in Major League Soccer (MLS), in the Eastern Conference of the league. It is one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, having competed in the league since its inaugural season.

The club is owned by Robert Kraft, who also owns the New England Patriots along with his son, Jonathan Kraft, who is a major investor of the club. The name "Revolution" refers to the New England region's significant involvement in the American Revolution that took place from 1775-1783.

New England currently play their home matches at Gillette Stadium. The club played their home games at the adjacent and now-demolished Foxboro Stadium, from 1996 until 2001. The Revs hold the distinction of being the only original MLS team to have every league game in its history televised.[1]

The Revolution won their first major trophy in the 2007 US Open Cup. The following year, they won the 2008 North American SuperLiga. The Revolution have participated in five MLS Cup finals in 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2014. They also earned the second best regular season record in 2005. However, they have never won an MLS Cup or MLS Supporters' Shield.


The early years: 1996–2001

The inaugural Revolution team featured several US Men's National Team regulars returning from abroad to be part of the new league. Despite the presence of Alexi Lalas, Mike Burns, and Joe-Max Moore, however, the team was one of only two that failed to make the playoffs of the then 10 team league. The following season, the squad made the playoffs, but failed to advance past the first round. For the next five years, this playoff result would be the Revs' best (which they matched in the 2000 season), as a revolving door of players and head coaches failed to make much of an impact on the fledgling league.

Chart showing the progress of the New England Revolution in MLS

Attendance in these early years was high despite the team's poor on-field performances. More than 15,000 people per match regularly came to watch the Revolution play in the old Foxboro Stadium. The Revs did manage to make the final of the 2001 US Open Cup, but they lost to the Los Angeles Galaxy on a golden goal by Danny Califf. It was a harbinger of finals to come for the Revolution.

The Steve Nicol era: 2002–2011

Liverpool great Steve Nicol was appointed as head coach on a full-time basis during the 2002 season. He had previously held the position of interim head coach during the 1999 and 2002 seasons. After taking over, Nicol guided the Revolution to a playoff berth for a league-record eight straight seasons, failing for the first time in 2010. The first six of those berths (from 2002–2007) resulted in an appearance in the conference final or better, including three consecutive MLS Cup finals from 2005–2007. From the 2008 season until 2013, the Revs failed to go further than the first round of the playoffs. Still, Nicol was respected as one of the best coaches in the league.[2][3]

Playoff success: 2002–2007

Steve Ralston was an integral part of the Revs' success, leading them to four MLS Cup finals

In his first season in charge, Nicol guided the Revs to a first-place finish in the Eastern Conference. The team advanced through the playoffs to the MLS Cup final, where they lost to the Galaxy again, this time 1–0 on a golden goal by Carlos Ruiz.

After losing in the conference finals in 2003 and 2004, the Revs repeated their 2002 feat finishing tops in the east and losing the cup final to LA 1–0 in extra time again in 2005. New England had a real chance to win their first MLS championship, in MLS Cup 2006, against the Houston Dynamo. After Taylor Twellman scored in the 113th minute, the Revs allowed an equalising header from the Dynamo's Brian Ching less than a minute later that sent the game to penalty kicks, where the Revs lost 4–3.

In the 2007 season, the Revs made it to two cup finals. The 2007 MLS Cup was a rematch from the previous year, though the result was the same as Houston defeated New England 2–1.[4] The Revolution hold the record for most losses in MLS cup games. Though they lost the 2007 MLS Cup, they defeated FC Dallas to win their first-ever trophy: the 2007 US Open Cup.

Their 2002 MLS Cup appearance granted them a spot in the 2003 CONCACAF Champions Cup, but they lost their first matchup 5:3 on aggregate after playing two games on the road to LD Alajuelense. The Revolution again faced LD Alajuelense of Costa Rica in the home and away 2006 CONCACAF Champions' Cup. The "home" game was played February 22, 2006, in Bermuda despite some fans feeling that playing at Gillette Stadium in the adverse conditions of winter in New England could have been advantageous. The Revs failed to advance, as they drew 0–0 in Bermuda and lost 0–1 in Costa Rica.

Rebuilding: 2008–2011

The 2007 U.S. Open Cup victory qualified the club for the preliminary round of the newly expanded CONCACAF Champions League. Additionally, their top-four finish qualified them for SuperLiga 2008. Therefore, the Revolution competed in four different competitions (MLS, Open Cup, Champions League, and SuperLiga) during the 2008 season. The Revolution had an excellent run at the beginning of the 2008 season. By mid-July, they were leading the overall MLS table and had finished as the number one overall seed in SuperLiga. The team won the tournament, defeating the Houston Dynamo on penalties to earn a small amount of revenge on for their successive MLS Cup defeats. That trophy, however, was the high point for the 2008 Revs. Fixture congestion led to a rash of injuries and general fatigue, and the team crashed out the Champions League with an embarrassing 4–0 home defeat to regional minnows Joe Public FC of Trinidad and Tobago (the tie ended 6–1 Joe Public on aggregate). The team also struggled in domestic play, limping to a third-place finish in the East and losing to the Chicago Fire in the first round of the playoffs. The Revs managed a semifinal appearance in the 2008 U.S. Open Cup, but lost to D.C. United.

In 2009, the Revs continued the mediocrity that had plagued the second half of their 2008 season, losing to Chicago again in the first round of the playoffs. The team also lost to Chicago in the semifinals of the 2009 SuperLiga. 2010 started even more dismally than 2009, with the team failing to put together an unbeaten streak longer than three games until July. Despite the abysmal progress, this unbeaten streak coincided with the Revs' third consecutive SuperLiga appearance, and for the second time in three years, the team made the competition's final, but lost 2–1 to Monarcas Morelia of Mexico.

The team failed to make the playoffs in either 2010 or 2011, and at the end of the 2011 season, announced they had parted ways with manager Steve Nicol, who had managed the team for 10 years.


The team hired former player Jay Heaps as head coach. The 2012 season was another disappointment. In 2013, the team finished 3rd place in the Eastern Conference, making the playoffs for the first time since 2009 with the help of a budding Homegrown Player, Diego Fagundez.

In the April 2014 issue of Boston Magazine, journalist Kevin Alexander named the Kraft family as "the Worst Owners in the League" in an article that contrasted the family's sparkling reputation as NFL owners with their alleged lack of interest in MLS and the Revolution.[5] The 2014 season brought success. The Revolution signed U.S. national team member Jermaine Jones in late August on a designated player contract. They then went on a 10-1-1 streak led by Jones and MVP candidate Lee Nguyen to finish in 2nd place in the regular season in the Eastern Conference. The Revolution breezed through the playoffs without losing a game, making it to their first MLS Cup Final since 2007. New England lost to the LA Galaxy for the 3rd time in the MLS Cup extending their winless streak in their overall MLS Cup appearances.

Colors and badge

The club badge is stylized and based on the flag of the United States with some of the stars made into a soccer ball (similar to Adidas' ball for the UEFA Champions League). The overall design mirrors the 1994 FIFA World Cup logo. The Revolution is the last founding team of the MLS to keep its original crest.

Traditionally, the Revolution have worn all-navy at home, with the exception of red shorts during the club's first year in 1996. Since 2014, the club has worn white shorts at home. The Revolution wore white secondary kits for their entire existence up until 2015, when the club introduced a red away jersey with white and green accents in tribute to the flag of New England. Since 2011, UnitedHealthcare has been the Revolution's jersey sponsor; its logo is on the home and away jerseys.

Kit evolution

  • Away


Gillette Stadium has been New England Revolution's home stadium since 2002

The Revolution has played its home games in Foxborough, Massachusetts since its inception – initially at the Foxboro Stadium and subsequently at its replacement, Gillette Stadium. It shares the stadium with the New England Patriots of the National Football League.

Soccer-Specific Stadium

On June 14, 2006, MLS announced that the Revolution were hoping to build a new soccer-specific stadium. Bids have gone out to local towns around New England to see where the Revs could have a stadium built.[8]

On August 2, 2007, The Boston Herald reported that the city of Somerville and Revolution officials have held "preliminary discussions" about building a 50,000 to 55,000 seat stadium on a 100-acre (0.40 km2) site off of Innerbelt Road near Interstate 93. The stadium could cost anywhere between $50 and $200 million based on other similar soccer-specific stadiums built by Major League Soccer teams.[9] After a two-year hiatus, the Revolution renewed their plans to build a stadium in Somerville since the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority finalized its Green Line maintenance facility plans.[10] In a July 2010 interview, Kraft said that over $1 million had been invested in finding a suitable site, preferably in the urban core.[11]

On November 18, 2014, The Boston Globe reported that the Kraft family had met with city and state officials over a stadium in South Boston on a public lot off Interstate 93.[12] The proposed site is adjacent to an industrial site that has been identified for the main Olympic stadium by the organizing group for Boston's now-failed bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, of which Robert Kraft was a member.[13]

Club culture

Revolution fans often fly the New England pine flag at matches.[14] The flag has also been incorporated into the club's kit.

Supporters groups

The team's supporter's clubs are called the Midnight Riders, Rev Army, and The Rebellion.[15] The name 'Midnight Riders' is in honor of the famous rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes, who announced the departure of British troops from Boston to Concord at the beginning of the American Revolution. The three groups together occupy the north stand of the stadium, which they have nicknamed "The Fort". The Fort is a general admission section and draws its name from the revolutionary theme which runs through the team supporters.[16]


The official mascot for New England Revolution is Slyde the Fox.[17]


The club's main rival is widely considered to be New York Red Bulls,[18] due to the rivalry stemming from other Boston–New York rivalries in other professional sports such as the Knicks–Celtics rivalry in the NBA and the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry in Major League Baseball. Beginning in 2002, the Revs had a 20 match undefeated streak against the Red Bulls for games at Gillette Stadium. This streak helped to intensify the rivalry between the teams. The streak came to an end on June 8, 2014, as the Red Bulls won 2-0 at Gillette Stadium.[19]

Since 2015 a rivalry has also developed with newcomer club New York City FC, due to the latter club's association with the Yankees and with Yankee Stadium being the club's incumbent home ground.

The Revolution have also built rivalries with fellow Eastern Conference teams D.C. United and Chicago Fire. These teams have faced each other on numerous occasions in the playoffs. In a 2009 poll on the club's official site, New England fans considered the Chicago Fire the Revs' most bitter rival as the clubs have clashed many times in the MLS playoffs and regular season.[20]


All Revolution matches are televised locally in high definition on Comcast SportsNet New England; nationally televised matches air on ESPN, ESPN2, and Fox Sports 1. All matches are broadcast on radio by WBZ-FM, but this is a simulcast of the TV feed. Brad Feldman handles play-by-play on both TV and radio with Paul Mariner doing color commentary.[21] Matches had previously been aired on WSBK-TV in standard definition.

Players and staff

For details on former players, see All-time New England Revolution roster.

Current roster

Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of May 14, 2016.[22]

No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Cropper, CodyCody Cropper      United States
2 Defender Farrell, AndrewAndrew Farrell      United States
6 Midfielder Caldwell, ScottScott Caldwell (HGP)     United States
7 Midfielder Koffie, GershonGershon Koffie      Ghana
8 Defender Tierney, ChrisChris Tierney      United States
10 Forward Bunbury, TealTeal Bunbury      United States
11 Midfielder Rowe, KelynKelyn Rowe      United States
12 Midfielder Kouassi, XavierXavier Kouassi (DP)     Ivory Coast
13 Forward Kamara, KeiKei Kamara (DP)     Sierra Leone
14 Forward Fagúndez, DiegoDiego Fagúndez (HGP)     Uruguay
15 Defender Watson, Je-VaughnJe-Vaughn Watson      Jamaica
16 Midfielder Kobayashi, DaigoDaigo Kobayashi      Japan
17 Forward Agudelo, JuanJuan Agudelo      United States
18 Goalkeeper Knighton, BradBrad Knighton      United States
21 Midfielder Herivaux, ZacharyZachary Herivaux (HGP)     Haiti
22 Goalkeeper Shuttleworth, BobbyBobby Shuttleworth      United States
23 Defender Gonçalves, JoséJosé Gonçalves      Portugal
24 Midfielder Nguyen, LeeLee Nguyen (Captain)     United States
25 Defender Barnes, DarriusDarrius Barnes      United States
28 Defender Woodberry, LondonLondon Woodberry      United States
30 Goalkeeper Turner, MattMatt Turner      United States
33 Defender Smith, DonnieDonnie Smith      United States
88 Forward Hollinger-Janzen, FemiFemi Hollinger-Janzen      Benin




Minor Trophies



Season Regular Season MLS Playoffs U.S. Open Cup CONCACAF Final Record
1996 5th, East Did not qualify Did not enter Did not qualify 15–17
1997 4th, East Quarter-Finals Round of 16 15–17
1998 6th, East Did not qualify Did not enter 11–21
1999 5th, East Did not qualify Did not enter 12–20
2000 2nd, East Quarter-Finals Round of 32 13–13–6
2001 3rd, East Did not qualify Runner Up Not held 7–14–6
2002 1st, East Runner Up Did not enter Did not qualify 12–14–2
2003 2nd, East Conf. Final Quarter-Finals First Round 12–9–9
2004 4th, East Conf. Final Round of 16 Did not qualify 8–13–9
2005 1st, East Runner Up Round of 16 Did not qualify 17–7–8
2006 2nd, East Runner Up Quarter-Finals First Round 12–8–12
2007 2nd, East Runner Up Champions Did not qualify 14–8–8
2008 3rd, East Conf. Semi-Finals Semi-Finals Did not qualify 12–11–7
2009 3rd, East Conf. Semi-Finals Round of 16 Preliminary Round 11–10–9
2010 6th, East Did not qualify Did not qualify Did not qualify 9–16–5
2011 9th, East Did not qualify Did not qualify 5–16–13
2012 9th, East Did not qualify 3rd Round 9–17–8
2013 3rd, East Conf. Semi-Finals Quarter Finals 14–11–9
2014 2nd, East Runner Up Quarter Finals 17–13–4
2015 5th, East Knockout round 4th Round 14–12–8
2016 7th, East Did not qualify Runner Up 11–14–9

Team records

As of October 25th, 2014.[23]

* Active

  • All-Time regular season record: 239–267–123

Player(s) who won MLS Scoring Champion/Golden Boot

Player Season Points / Goals
Taylor Twellman 2002 52
Pat Noonan 2004 30
Taylor Twellman 2005 17

Average attendance

regular season/playoffs

  • 1996: 19,025
  • 1997: 21,423 / 16,233
  • 1998: 19,188
  • 1999: 16,735
  • 2000: 15,463 / 10,723
  • 2001: 15,645
  • 2002: 16,927 / 19,018
  • 2003: 14,641 / 14,823
  • 2004: 12,226 / 5,679
  • 2005: 12,525 / 13,849
  • 2006: 11,786 / 9,372
  • 2007: 16,787 / 10,217
  • 2008: 17,580 / 5,221
  • 2009: 13,732 / 7,416
  • 2010: 12,987
  • 2011: 13,222
  • 2012: 14,002
  • 2013: 14,861 / 15,164
  • 2014: 16,681 / 26,441
  • 2015: 19,626
All-Time: 15,555 / 11,611

Former leadership

Head coach history

Name Nat Tenure
Frank Stapleton Republic of Ireland (Jan 1, 1996 – Sept 26, 1996)
Thomas Rongen Netherlands (Nov 5, 1996 – Aug 24, 1998)
Walter Zenga Italy (Oct. 28, 1998 - Sept. 30, 1999)
Steve Nicol (interim) Scotland (1999)
Fernando Clavijo United States (Nov 29, 1999 – May 23, 2002)
Steve Nicol (interim) Scotland (May 23, 2002 – Nov 6, 2002)
Steve Nicol Scotland (Nov 6, 2002 – Oct 24, 2011)
Jay Heaps United States (Nov 14, 2011 – present)

General Managers

Name From To
Brian O'Donovan 1995 2000
Todd Smith 2001 2002
Craig Tornberg 2003 2008
Michael Burns 2011 present


  1. "Revolution announces TV and radio schedule for 2006". 2006-03-14.
  2. Biglin, Mike (November 16, 2007). "MLS Cup 2007: Formula for success". Retrieved August 21, 2010.
  3. Madaio, Bob (February 3, 2010). "The New England Revolution's Steve and Shalrie Show". Retrieved August 21, 2010.
  4. "Dynamo beat Revolution 2–1 to repeat as MLS champions". Fox Sports. 2007-11-18. Retrieved 2007-11-18.
  5. Alexander, Kevin (March 25, 2014). "The Krafts Are the Worst Owners in the League". Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  8. Major League Soccer Communications (2006-06-14). "Major League Soccer to seek proposals in New England for soccer-specific stadium sites".
  9. Scott Van Voorhis (2007-08-02). "Revolution's the goal: Somerville talks stadium with Krafts". Boston Herald.
  10. Andrew Slevison (2010-06-29). "Revs relaunched Somerville stadium plans". Tribal Football.
  11. Eric Moskowitz (2010-06-18). "Kick-start for team, city". Boston Globe.
  12. Bonn, Kyle (November 18, 2014). "Report: Kraft family has a site for a Revolution stadium in mind". NBC Sports.
  13. Casey, Ross; Callum Borchers; Mark Arsenault (2014-11-18). "Kraft family looks to build soccer stadium in Boston". The Boston Globe.
  14. "The Flag of New England".
  15. "Supporters Groups". Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  16. Joyce Furia (2006-02-07). "Meet the Coach, Meet the Midnight Riders". Soccer New England.
  18. "Revs, Red Bull renew I-95 rivalry". Fox News. The Sports Network. April 19, 2013.
  19. "Lloyd Sam equalizes for Red Bulls". ESPN. Associated Press. May 11, 2013.
  20. "Who is the true arch rival?".
  21. "Revs new TV home is Comcast SportsNet". 2010-03-15.
  22. "Players | New England Revolution". Retrieved July 25, 2014.
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