The New England Revolution are nearing the kickoff of their 25th season in MLS. As one of the founding clubs in the league, New England has failed to win MLS Cup. In a region dominated by successful franchises, when will New England climb the local ranks in popularity and coverage?
Since the club’s inaugural season in 1996, the New England Revolution have made it to MLS Cup five times. They have failed to lift the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy every time, most recently falling to the LA Galaxy in 2014.
In a region that is widely considered ‘Title Town’, the soccer club that plays on the same turf as the six-time Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots has had a lot to overcome to catch attention in Beantown.
Since that first season, sports fans in the New England area have seen their teams lift 12 combined trophies — Bruins: 2011, Celtics: 2008, Red Sox; 2004, 2007, 2013, 2018, Patriots; 2001, 2003, 2004, 2014, 2016, 2018.
The endless ticker-tape parades and the various trophy lifts raise the standards to which the Revolution are held-to in the local and national media.
New England radio station, 98.5 The Sports Hub covers the Boston Bruins, Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots and the New England Revolution. They provide the only radio coverage for MLS in the region, outside of Sirius XM FC 157’s United States of Soccer with Jason Davis.
The website for the radio station has not updated the Revolution team page since 2018. 98.5 The Sports Hub does provide pre-game and post-match shows, some games featuring both or none at all on top of the NBC Sports Boston audio from the telecast of the matches.
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Outside of the Trifecta Sports Network, The Bent Musket, there is a lack of in-depth coverage for the soccer club that is in the most famous sporting region in the country. The club itself will always have the loyal supporter groups (The Rebellion & The Midnight Riders), who pack The Fort in the north-side of Gillette Stadium. But the most important factor in attendance and local coverage is the attention of the regular soccer fan. Yes, MLS.com and the New England Revolution website is nice, but a professional sports club needs more.
However, in 2020, the New England Revolution have a shot at finally finding relevance. Head coach Bruce Arena has had his first offseason with the team, the three Designated Player slots are finally filled after the arrivals of Carles Gil, Gustavo Bou and Adam Buksa over the course of the past year, and there is genuine and well-reasoned hope that New England can finally challenge in the playoffs once again.
But for a team that has roundly been forgotten about, that success must lead to something. It seems, then, that the only way for the Revolution to gain headway in the hierarchy of the region is to lift MLS Cup.