One of the ten charter clubs in the MSL, the New England Revolution was formed to be a part of America’s new premier soccer league. The team initially played their home games at the now-demolished Foxboro Stadium and played their first game in 1996 as part of the MSL’s first season.
The franchise’s inaugural team was touted to be one of the contenders for the championship because it boasted several US Men’s National Team starting regulars. However, despite the presence of players like Joe-Max Moore, Mike Burns and Alexi Lalas, the team was unable to impress and slipped to the bottom of the conference. As a result they were one of two teams to miss out on a playoff berth.
The team made it to the playoffs in their second season but was unable to progress beyond the first round. This would become a regular thing for Revolution fans, as the team slumped through a period of relative mediocrity which saw them not winning anything substantial for years.
The team’s only major achievement during this time was making it to the final of the US Open Cup in 2001, which they lost to the L.A. Galaxy after a golden goal.
Steve Nicol Era:
Keeping in mind the inconsistent results that the club was posting, Liverpool legend Steve Nicol was appointed as the team’s new head coach in 2002. Even though Nicol had previously been appointed interim head coach in 1999, this time he was given complete charge of the team.
Under Nicol’s guidance, the team turned its fortunes around and started playing well consistently. Their dedication and hard work paid off when the team made it to the conference finals or better every year from 2002-2007. This period also included one of the most consistent runs in MLS history, when the Revolution made it to three straight MLS Cup finals from 2005-2007. However they were not able to win the championship in any of these attempts. The team would however win the 2007 US Open Cup by defeating FC Dallas in the final, giving the club its first taste of silverware.
The team started off 2008 on a high and led the league in terms of points by mid July. They won the SuperLiga that year, but crumpled under a grueling MLS schedule and lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Chicago Fire. They also crashed out of the Champions League and lost the US Open Cup semifinal to DC United.
The slump in form continued for the next few seasons and the team parted ways with long time manager Nicol in 2011. Jay Heaps was appointed as the new head coach and led the team’s revival as they finally made the playoffs in 2013 for the first time since 2009.
The current season looks promising for the team as they are performing well and look to be on track to negotiate the tricky playoff stage. New England Revolution tickets will allow you to catch live action from the Rev’s final games of the season, as they bid to once again book a spot in the MLS Cup final and finally succeed in lifting the coveted trophy.