Discover more from The Blazing Musket
2023 Revolution II Season Recap
Despite falling short in their inaugural playoff run, there was plenty to be proud of for the players and coaching staff!
Revolution II’s inaugural playoff run came to a heartbreaking end on Saturday as a second-half stoppage time goal from Columbus’ Gibran Rayo led to Crew 2 securing a 1-0 victory as they punched their ticket to their second-straight MLS NEXT Pro Cup Final.
Despite the disappointing loss, the coaching staff and players have to be proud of all the accomplishments made in 2023. Here’s a look back at the 2023 Revolution II season!
The Blazing Musket is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
After missing the playoffs for a third straight year in 2022, Clint Peay and the organization focused on making 2023 a success.
Revolution II went on to add ten players before the season opener as they signed Jordan Adebayo-Smith, Jacob Akanyrige, Ben Awashie, Brandonn Bueno, Nico Campuzano, Malcolm Fry, Nakye Greenidge-Duncan, Noble Okello, Victor Souza, and Max Weinstein. While the season started, the additions did not, as the club signed Olger Escobar, Patrick Leal, and Peyton Miller throughout the year.
Revs II opened their 2023 campaign on the road on March 26th as they faced Atlanta United 2. An Atlanta own goal and goals from Jake Rozhansky and Pierre Cayet propelled Revs II to a 3-0 lead, but Atlanta was not going down without a fight as they netted two quick goals in the closing minutes. It wasn’t enough as Revs II held on to secure a 3-2 win.
They went on to win their next two games before suffering their first loss on April 16th as Crew 2 secured a 3-0 shutout win. That was the beginning of a skid for Revs II as they went 0-2-1 in the next three matches.
May brought Revs II success. Despite opening the month with a loss, they went on to win the other four games in May. Their success led to Clint Peay being named May’s Coach of the Month. His first MLS NEXT Pro honor.
August was another successful month as the club went 3-0-2 with one shootout win. Their success led to Revolution II being named MLS NEXT Pro’s Team of the Month. The month also saw Revs II qualify for their first-ever playoff.
Despite the successes, things weren't always easy for Revolution II as the Bruce Arena scandal brought massive changes to Revolution II. With Richie Williams serving as interim head coach for the first team, Clint Peay was brought up to the first team to serve as interim assistant. Assistant Coach Marcelo Santos served as interim head coach for Revs II.
Things went sour on September 12th when Clint Peay became the second interim coach for the Revs as the club pivoted Richie Williams away from the role. With Clint serving as interim head coach, interim Revolution II head coach Marcelo Santos became an interim assistant coach.
Despite Clint and Marcelo's departure, the players stood tall as they leaned on the system and philosophies Clint has instilled within Revolution II since 2020.
After a 28-game regular season, Revolution II ended the year in second place in the Eastern Conference with a club-record 56 points on a 14-6-8 record with six shootout wins.
Revolution II took the field for their first-ever playoff match on October 1st as they hosted seventh-placed Philadelphia Union II. Thanks to a Marcos Dias penalty goal and a brace from Esmir Bajraktarević, Revs II held a dominant 3-0 lead after 70 minutes.
Things got nervy in the 78th minute when Juan Castillo found the back of the net to shrink the lead to two. Things got intense in the 81st minute when Peyton Miller took Boubacar Diallo down inside the box to award Philly a penalty. Diallo stepped up and buried the penalty to narrow the lead to one. Thankfully, Revs II held on to secure a 3-2 victory.
Malcolm Fry got Revolution II on the board early in the Eastern Conference Semifinal as he put Revolution II up 1-0 over NYRB II in the 12th minute. Victor Souza doubled the lead as he found the back of the net in the 69th minute. Julian Hall drew one back for New York, but it wasn't enough as Revs II booked their ticket to the Eastern Conference Final.
As previously mentioned, it was a heartbreaker for Revs II as a stoppage-time goal from Columbus Crew 2 led to Revolution II’s season ending sooner than many expected. Again, despite falling short of their goal, there was much to be proud of this season and to build off of come 2024.
What Happens Now?
With the 2023 season over, the focus now turns to 2024. Clint Peay and Marcelo Santos will likely return to the sideline after their duties with the first team are fulfilled. It will be the fifth season for the duo and goalkeeping coach Yuta Nomura.
If Clint and Marcelo return, expect the Revs II coaching staff to reconvene and discuss plans to build off the success generated in 2023.
Thanks to Homegrown deals, we’ll see Peyton Miller and Tiago Suarez automatically ascend to the first team. Yet, I would be shocked if those were the only two names to rise to the first team.
I can’t speak more highly about Jordan Adebayo-Smith. The Revolution II newcomer had a tremendous debut season with the club as he notched a team-high twelve goals and five assists over 27 appearances. Adebayo-Smith’s impressive tally on the year marked the first time a player had scored double-digit goals in a season for Revolution II. With a lack of production from the first team’s offense in the second half of the season, Jordan Adebayo-Smith’s addition in a backup role would provide some stability in the attack.
In my honest opinion, a Pierre Cayet call-up is long overdue. Since joining Revolution II in April 2021. Cayet has been a constant presence on the backline as he’s appeared in 73 matches. Pierre can do it on both sides of the ball as he’s a solid defender who’s found the back of the net six times throughout his Revs II career. With injuries plaguing the backline in 2023, Cayet’s promotion would be a solid backup choice to close out games and fill in when needed.
As the first team begins preseason training, we usually see a few Revolution II guys join the fold to get some experience at a higher level while the club evaluates their performances. Malcolm Fry and Victor Souza are two names I could see in training camp come 2024.