The Blazing Musket Roundtable: Who will be the Revolution's 2023 Defender of the Year?
The staff of The Blazing Musket make some predictions
The New England Revolution will play their first regular season game of 2023 on Saturday when they travel to face Charlotte FC. The Blazing Musket will be discussing a variety of topics throughout the week as a way to preview the year.
Today, we ask who will be the Revs’ 2023 Defender of the Year.
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Seth: DeJuan Jones
Jones’ stock has never been higher as he recently suited up for the U.S. Men’s National Team while rumors continue to swirl about a move to Europe.
The left back is as steady as they come. On the attacking end, he can take players on and offer dangerous crosses. Defensively, he excels in 1v1 scenarios and has the pace to keep up with anyone in the league.
Jones has been a force these last two years and I think it’s time that he earns some well-deserved accolades.
Tanner: Dave Romney
Romney has played under Walker Zimmerman’s shadow at Nashville SC but the 29-year-old will not have to play alongside Zimmerman any longer. Reliability is important when thinking about Defender of the Year and that is something Romeny has in spades starting 66 regular season matches over the last two seasons.
His familiarity with Bruce Arena from his playing days with the LA Galaxy should help him fit right into the formation. It is already clear that Romney is a favorite of Arena’s with the central defender leading his counterparts in minutes played this preseason.
With Henry Kessler’s availability in recent seasons a question and Andrew Farrell’s play declining in 2022, it is not hard to envision Romney standing atop the backline at the end of the season.
Josh: Dave Romney
Romney had some of his statistically best defensive years with Nashville, including allowing a career-low twenty-two goals allowed as a consistent starter in 2020, a career-high thirteen clean sheets in 2021, and a third-best thirty-four interceptions in 2021. On top of that, Romney clocked 7,685 minutes from 2020 to 2022.
Considering the shakiness Andrew Farrell and Henry Kessler showed at times in 2022, I believe Bruce will rely heavily on Romney to hold the Revolution’s defensive shape in 2023.
Sam: Dave Romney
Oh man, everyone else is going with Romney too? Bruce Arena clearly saw something in Romney with the financial investment he made in the center back.
If he is able to stay healthy — which he has historically done — I see him as a foundational part of the starting XI in 2023. With the arrival of Romney, I expect Farrell and Kessler to fall into the background in a way. I expect the duo to do decent but think Romney could establish himself as a step above.
Jones is a good shout from Seth but he does most of his damage in the attacking third. When it comes to these awards, I like to reward defenders who actually defend. As we saw against Orlando City, Jones still has some work to do.