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2023 Revolution II Preview
After a long and eventful offseason, here's EVERYTHING you need to know about Revolution II ahead of their second MLS NEXT Pro campaign.
Clint Peay returns for his fourth season at the helm of Revolution II as the developmental club kicks off their second season in MLS NEXT Pro on March 26th against Atlanta United 2. With numerous changes on the club and league levels, here’s everything you need to know ahead of the 2023 New England Revolution II season,
Revs II enter 2023 following a 2022 season filled with ups and downs. Things got off to a fantastic start as a flurry of goals and outstanding goalkeeping from then-rookie Jacob Jackson led to Revs II holding a 6-1-2 record through their first nine contests.
Things took a turn heading into the summer as Revs II ended the month of July with a six-game winless streak. Things then went from bad to worse when Jackson underwent surgery to repair his left ACL on August 3rd. With Jackson out, Peay turned towards Revolution Academy goalkeeper Max Weinstein to fill the hole in the net.
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Weinstein appeared in eight of the final nine contests of the season, where he finished the year with a 2-5-1 record. While results did not go Weinstein's way, the 18-year-old notched 33 saves while keeping three clean sheets.
The woes in the final half of the season did Revs II in as they ended the year in seventh place of the Eastern Conference with 33 points on a 9-10-5 with one shootout victory.
What changes came to MLS NEXT Pro in the offseason?
Seven new developmental clubs will join the fold in 2023 as Atlanta United II, Austin FC II, Charlotte Legacy FC (Charlotte FC), LA Galaxy II, LAFC 2, Huntsville City FC (Nashville SC), and New York Red Bulls II will embark on their first season in MLS NEXT Pro.
Revolution II will compete in the Eastern Conference’s Northeast Division alongside New York City FC II, Philadelphia Union II, Toronto FC II, New York Red Bulls II, and Crown Legacy FC.
Despite the flurry of new teams entering the mix, we sadly saw the departure of MLS NEXT Pro’s first independent club, Rochester New York FC. On March 10th, the club released a statement announcing they were not participating in the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season.
With the additions of seven clubs and the departure of RNYFC, MLS NEXT Pro will yield 27 teams in 2023.
Like 2022, shootouts will return in 2023. If a match is tied after the final whistle is sounded, both clubs will earn a point, with both sides competing for a second point in a penalty kick shootout. According to the league, 20% of all MLS NEXT Pro matches ended with a shootout in 2022.
The off-field treatment and red card rules return after being implemented in the middle of the 2022 season. Under the off-field treatment rule, if a player is on the ground for more than fifteen seconds after a supposed injury, the medical staff will come on the field to assess them. After the assessment, the player will exit the pitch for further treatment. The player taken off must remain out of play for three minutes, leaving his team a man short for the duration.
Under the red card rule, if a player receives a red card in a game, they will serve a one-game suspension the next time he faces the team he earned the red card against, rather than missing the next game his team plays.
To limit time wasting, MLS NEXT Pro has implemented a timed substitution rule. Once a player is subbed off, they have ten seconds to vacate the pitch. If the player exiting the match does not exit after ten seconds, the incoming substitution will serve a sixty-second holding penalty, and his team will be down a man.
Who left? Michel Costa, Michael DeShields, Hikaru Fujiwara, Ryan Lima, Yannik Oettl, Sean O’Hearn, Marzuq Puckerin, Meny Silva, and Trevor Zwetsloot will not return to Revolution II in 2023.
Midfielder Michel Costa’s contract with Revs II came to an end after spending two seasons in New England. Costa appeared in 45 contests where he notched two goals and four assists over 3,422 minutes. Costa signed with Portuguese-side Estoril Praia’s Under-23 squad on January 31st, 2023.
Defender Michael DeShields departed after one season in New England after the club declined his option. DeShields signed with Revs II on February 4th, 2022, where he notched one assist over 1,008 minutes. DeShields has found a new home as he inked a deal with USL Championship-side Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC on March 1st, 2023.
Midfielder Hikaru Fujiwara, a Revs II original, departed after three seasons after the club declined his option. The former Revs Academy midfielder notched four assists over 1,291 minutes.
Midfielder Ryan Lima departed after one season in New England. Lima notched four goals and four assists over 1,223 minutes. Lima made league history as his April 17th golazo against FC Cincinnati II won MLS NEXT Pro’s inaugural Goal of the Year award.
Goalkeeper Yannik Oettl departed after two years with Revs II. Oettl appeared in three contests in 2021, where he notched six saves while conceding six goals over 181 minutes.
Oettl spent the 2022 season on loan with USL Championship side Hartford Athletic. Oettl quickly found a new home as he inked a deal with USL Championship’s Indy Eleven on December 6th.
Defender Sean O’Hearn’s contract with Revolution II expired after two seasons with the club. Through 46 appearances, O’Hearn notched one goal and three assists over 3,743 minutes. O’Hearn quickly found a new home as he inked a deal with USL League One newcomer One Knoxville SC.
Goalkeeper Marzuq Puckerin and the club agreed to a mutual contract termination. Over two seasons, Puckerin appeared on the bench 29 times for Revolution II, yet never saw the field.
A Revs II original, former Academy product Meny Silva’s contract expired after three years with the club. Through 40 appearances, Silva notched two goals and two assists over 1,423 minutes.
Midfielder Trevor Zwetsloot departed after one season with Revs II. Zwetsloot appeared in 21 contests for Revs II, where he clocked 1,354 minutes.
It took some time, but Zwetsloot will continue his soccer career in the United States after inking a deal with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds on March 14th.
Who’s returning Pierre Cayet, Marcos Dias, Ítalo, Colby Quiñones, Jake Rozhansky, and Weverton are the six names returning for another season with Revolution II.
Pierre Cayet returns for his third season with Revolution II. Cayet has 43 appearances with Revs II under his belt, where he’s notched four goals over 3,639 minutes.
Marcos Dias returns for his second season in New England on loan from Brazilian side Vasco Da Gama. Dias made 19 appearances in 2022, where he notched a team-high six goals and one assist over 1,547 minutes.
Ítalo also returns for a second season with Revs II. The Brazilian left-back appeared in 22 matches in 2022, where he notched one goal and three assists over 1,861 minutes.
Colby Quiñones, a Revs II original, will be returning for a fourth season. In over 50 appearances, Quiñones has notched one goal and three assists over 2,774 minutes.
Jake Rozhansky is returning for a third season in New England. Rozhansky has an impressive ten assists to his name over 45 appearances.
Weverton returns for his first full season with Revolution II. Weverton arrived in New England on August 11th, 2022. He appeared in four contests for Revs II and clocked 151 minutes of action.
It was a busy offseason for Clint Peay and crew, who made numerous moves to get Revs II in the best shape entering 2023. Malcolm Fry, Brandonn Bueno, Santiago Suarez, Nico Campuzano, Jordan Adebayo-Smith, Ben Awashie, Nakye Greenidge-Duncan, Jacob Akanyirige, Victor Souza, and Noble Okello will call Revolution II home for 2023.
Revolution II’s first addition came on October 28th, when the club announced the signing of Academy forward Malcolm Fry to a professional contract. Fry was a big part of the U19s championship run, as he notched three goals in the tournament. Fry also appeared in eight contests for Revs II in 2022, where he notched one goal and one assist over 261 minutes.
Fry was not the lone Revs Academy product to ascend to Revs II, as the club signed midfielder Brandonn Bueno on November 7th. Like Fry, Bueno was also a part of the U-19 squad that brought New England their first national trophy last summer. Bueno appeared in seven contests for Revs II in 2022, where he clocked 100 minutes of action.
Defender Santiago Suarez arrived in New England on November 28th. “Thiago” joins from USL Championship side Sacramento Republic FC’s Academy. While Thiago waits to sign a Homegrown deal with the first team before the 2024 MLS season, he will spend 2023 with Revolution II.
Goalkeeper Nico Campuzano arrived in New England on December 8th after spending the 2022 season with FC Cincinnati II. Campuzano appeared in four contests for Cincinnati II, where he posted a 2.47 goals against average while notching 14 saves.
Forward Jordan Adebayo-Smith arrived in New England on December 8th after spending the last three seasons with the Tampa Bay Mutiny and New York Red Bulls II. Adebayo-Smith spent the 2022 season on loan with NYRB II, where he notched a team-high seven goals and three assists over 33 appearances.
Midfielder Ben Awashie arrived in New England on January 6th after playing four seasons at the collegiate level with UConn and Grand Canyon University. In 2022, Awashie appeared in 12 contests for GCU, where he clocked 1,029 minutes.
Midfielder Nakye Greenidge-Duncan arrived in New England on January 6th after spending the 2022 season with Toronto FC II. Greenidge-Duncan appeared in 14 contests for TFC II, where he notched three goals and one assist over 483 minutes.
Defender Jacob Akanyirige arrived in New England on February 13th after spending the 2022 season with Rochester New York FC, where he recorded one goal and three assists over eighteen appearances. A product of the San Jose Earthquake, Akanyirige has one MLS appearance under his belt after playing 69 minutes in the September 16th, 2020's 1-1 draw against Portland.
MLS SuperDraft defender Victor Souza inked a deal with Revs II on February 22nd. The Revolution selected Souza with the 39th overall pick in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft.
Souza joins Revs II after a four-year career at Boston College that saw him notch one assist over 4,392 minutes. Souza racked up numerous individual awards, including an All-ACC Freshman Team appearance in 2019. Souza also earned back-to-back All-ACC Third Team appearances in his junior and senior years.
Midfielder Noble Okello joins Revolution II after spending the preseason with the Revolution's first team in Florida as a trialist. It appears as if Okello’s time as a trialist impressed Bruce Arena and the coaching staff as Arena announced to media members that Okello was Revs II bound following February 28th’s training session. Okello's addition to the Revolution became official on March 16th.
Okello joins Revolution II after spending the 2022 season with Toronto FC. Okello made eight appearances for TFC, where he clocked 349 minutes. Okello has 30 appearances for Toronto, where he notched one goal and one assist over 1,570 minutes.
Okello also spent time with TFC II, where he notched one goal and three assists over 45 appearances.
After regrouping in Foxboro, Revolution II traveled to Sarasota, Florida on February 10th for a 10-day preseason outing that saw Revs II take on USL Championship and MLS NEXT Pro competition.
The club's first preseason contest came on February 11th when they faced off against USL Championship side Tampa Bay Rowdies. Despite former Rowdie Jordan Adebayo-Smith notching a goal, Tampa Bay walked away with a dominant 5-1 victory.
Goalkeeping efforts from Max Weinstein and newcomer Nico Campuzano led Revolution II to a scoreless draw against fellow MLS NEXT Pro side Colorado Rapids 2.
Revolution II closed their Florida trip on February 28th as they faced Orlando City B. Despite two goals from Esmir Bajraktarević and Jordan Adebayo-Smith, Revs II fell short as they suffered a 3-2 defeat.
Preseason fixtures continued after the team returned from Florida as Revs II hosted the University of New Hampshire inside Gillette Stadium on February 26th. Another goal from standout newcomer Jordan Adebayo-Smith propelled Revs II to a 1-1 draw against UNH.
Revolution II also welcomed USL Championship side Hartford Athletic on March 5th as Hartford walked away with a 2-0 victory.
Revolution II secured their first preseason win on March 11th as a quartet of goals from Marcos Dias, Jack Burkhardt, Jordan Adebayo-Smith, and Malcolm Fry led Revs II to a 4-2 victory over CF Montreal’s Under-23 squad.
The Revs II offense dominated on March 17th as Jordan Adebayo-Smith's hat trick led to him tallying his seventh goal of the preseason. Brandonn Bueno added a brace, while Marcos Dias and Weverton also found the back of the net in a 7-3 trouncing over Gold Star FC Detroit.
Players to watch
Pierre Cayet: Since arriving at Revs II in April 2021, Cayet has stood out at center back. Appearing in 43 matches over the past two seasons, Cayet has notched an impressive four goals as a center-back over 3,639 minutes. Cayet ended the 2022 campaign leading MLS NEXT Pro in interceptions with 49. Cayet has started attracting interest from the first team as the Frenchman traveled and saw some playing time with the first team in Florida during preseason.
Jake Rozhansky: Since acquiring him in April of 2021, Jake Rozhansky has been a workhorse for Revolution II. Through his 45 appearances, Rozhansky has notched ten assists while clocking 3,698 minutes. More impressively, Rozhansky has been a leader for Revs II as he’s dawned the Captain's armband in 43 of his 45 appearances. As the current leader in appearances and minutes, expect Clint to rely on Rozhansky to lead on and off the pitch for this Revs II team.
Jordan Adebayo-Smith: Adebayo-Smith has wasted no time impressing since arriving this offseason, as he notched goals in two of the three preseason matches in Florida. Adebayo-Smith also posted a video on February 26th of him scoring another goal in a preseason meeting against New Hampshire at Gillette. Adebayo-Smith also notched a goal against CF Montreal, bringing his scoring tally to four throughout the preseason. Adebayo-Smith appears to be a real attacking threat Revs II have lacked in the past.
Santiago Suarez: “Tiago” Suarez was a pleasant addition to the New England Revolution organization this offseason as the Revs acquired the six-foot-five center-back from USL Championship side Sacramento Republic’s Academy. The multi-year deal with the Revolution will see the 17-year-old defender spend the 2023 season with Revolution II before signing a Homegrown contract with the first team before the 2024 MLS season. Tiago made quick impressions after joining Sacramento’s U-17 squad as he propelled to the U-19 team and made six first-team appearances, where he logged 335 minutes of action.
Olger Escobar: While not signed to a professional contract with Revs II, Escobar is one Revolution Academy product I expect to get some playing time throughout the 2023 season. Escobar impressed during his time with the Guatemala U-17 squad as he appeared in all five matches in Guatemala's run to the Quarterfinals. Escobar notched four goals over 405 minutes throughout the tournament.
Revolution II kick off their 2023 campaign on March 26th as they travel to Fifth Third Bank Stadium in Kennesaw, Georgia, to take on Atlanta United II at 7:30 PM ET.
Revs II return to Gillette for their home opener on April 2nd as they host NYCFC II at 8 PM.
Click here to view the entire 2023 Revolution II schedule.
2023 will bring some changes to the playoff format. Firstly, the playoffs will now feature seven teams from each conference. Within each conference, the two divisional winners and the five clubs with the next highest points total will qualify for the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs. The #1-seeds in both conferences will receive automatic byes and advance to the Conference Semifinal round.
Things get interesting in the Conference Quarterfinals as the second and third seeds choose their opponent for the match. The two teams not selected will face each other with the higher seed hosting.
Once the Conference Semifinals come, the first seed will choose between the remaining lowest two-seeded teams and host them for the Conference Semifinal. The second-highest team will host the club not selected by the first seed.
The team with the most regular season points will host the Conference Finals and MLS NEXT Pro Cup Final.
Attending Revolution II Games
As someone who attended most of Revolution II’s home games, I highly recommend attending a Revs II game if you’re in the area. Like the first team, Revs II calls Gillette Stadium home.
Fans can purchase single-game tickets for $10 per game or a full-season package for $98. Revolution season ticket holders have access to discounted Revs II tickets. For more information, visit Revolutionsoccer.net/tickets.
How To Watch
Most of the 2023 Revs II games will broadcast exclusively on MLS Season Pass, with a select number of games available for free on MLSNEXTPro.com. Decision Day and Playoff matches will also stream exclusively on MLS Season Pass.