The New England Revolution are looking to improve on an interesting 2019, but their stars do not seem too confident in the team’s chances to win an MLS Cup. Where is the confidence?
Usually, the start of the season indicates hope for a team. A clean slate where anything is possible. But that does not seem to be the case for the New England Revolution. There are plenty of reasons for Revs fans to be excited. The signings of Adam Buksa and Alexander Buttner show that the team is continuing to invest in international talent.
New England also has the likes of Carles Gil and Gustavo Bou returning for their second season with the club. These two became a dangerous duo in 2019. With another year under their belt and an extra offensive DP in the mix, there is tangible reason to believe they can take their games to new levels this season.
But in a recent interview with the Boston Globe, the ‘Big Three’, that is Gil, Bou and Buksa, who comprise the first full DP triumvirate for the New England Revolution, seem to not be as confident in the team’s chances to make a deep playoff run and challenge for MLS Cup.
The trio were asked directly whether they think the Revolution can win MLS Cup. Here are their responses:
Bou: “Obviously, it’s important for us, our coach, the institution, to win titles. But it will be very difficult.”
Gil: “That’s what we are working for. But it won’t be easy; all teams are working to win the championship. But, hopefully, we’ll have a chance.”
Buksa: “Why not? Everything is possible, especially in soccer. So we have to believe it and we have to work for it. I wouldn’t say it’s impossible, but it will be very difficult. But, in my opinion, we have to believe it and do everything we can to do it.”
In fairness, each of them say that the Revolution have a chance or that the team must believe they can do it or that they are working hard and value winning MLS Cup, but none are exactly staking their claim as being a part of a team that inarguably will be there or thereabouts when it comes to challenging for MLS’ elite prize.
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Buksa says that the team has to believe they can win an MLS Cup. The responses from Bou and Gil sure make it seem like that isn’t the case. There is such a thing as tempering expectations, of course. Very few predict that the Revolution will win — or even come close to winning — MLS Cup. They barely made it into the playoffs last season, and when you have teams like LAFC, Atlanta United, LA Galaxy, NYCFC, and the Seattle Sounders, the Revolution are a long way off the standard required.
But how do you expect fans to believe in the team if the players don’t even believe in it themselves? You can temper expectations, but you can also say that you believe this team has the quality to win MLS Cup, to praise your teammates, to herald the impact of Bruce Arena, to argue for the talent in the squad. It is not about arrogantly believing yourself to be something that you are not, but rather, having the confidence and self-awareness to claim what you believe is possible before then attempting to achieve it.
The Revolution might well surprise a few people. They have the talent to do so. But if they do not believe privately that they can MLS Cup, they certainly will not be winning it publicly.