Earlier this week, myself and a few of my Blue Level colleagues received a request from fellow Revs scribe Julian Cardillo of ProSoccerUSA.com. He wanted to bend our ear a little bit and give insight into who we felt were the Best XI in Revolution history. Of course, I jumped at the chance.
Julian asked for a goalkeeper, three defenders, four midfielders, and two forwards who the voters felt were the best ever in Revolution history. He then also asked for seven bench players, with a goalkeeper, two defenders, two midfielders, and two forwards.
To refresh the final tally, here is Julian’s column.
And now in the interest of full disclosure and transparency, my votes.
Starter: Matt Reis
Bench: Bobby Shuttleworth
Julian noted that Reis was a unanimous selection, so you know that I voted for him, too. I also had Shuttleworth as my bench goalkeeper.
Starters: Andrew Farrell, Michael Parkhurst, Chris Tierney
Bench: AJ Soares, Jose Goncalves
Say what you will about Andrew Farrell, but he has the heart of a lion when he’s out there, and as I’ve written in the past, he has really matured with his play in the last season-plus, season and a half. I voted for him in last year’s Defender of the Year Award balloting, as he was the top defender on the Revolution in 2019, bar none.
Parkhurst and Tierney also received votes from me, and were listed in Julian’s poll as top defenders.
I had initially slotted Soares in place of Farrell; Soares was a quality defender who left after the 2014 MLS Cup game and was not replaced in the Revolution back line until — dare we say it? — this past January when Bruce Arena selected Henry Kessler.
I also added JoGo to the bench: there were times where he flummoxed me, but when he was switched on, he was pretty darn good.
Starters: Steve Ralston, Diego Fagundez, Shalrie Joseph, Lee Nguyen
Bench: Jermaine Jones, Jeff Larentowicz
The midfield sees two players who’ve scored over 50 goals apiece for New England, another who scored 37, and another who assisted on 73 of them… and all are deserving of their spots.
The bench sees a short-term player in Jones who, without question, was the catalyst of the Revs’ run to the MLS Cup Final in 2014; after what he had done in Brazil with the US National Team earlier in the year, MLS teams looked to shut him down. That freed up Nguyen.
And Larentowicz was a big part of the Revs’ successes over a decade ago.
Starters: Taylor Twellman, Clint Dempsey
Bench: Joe-Max Moore, Pat Noonan
While Dempsey featured in Julian’s poll as a midfielder, I had him listed as a forward.
Twellman, of course, is a no brainer. 101 goals, all with the Revs… are you kidding me? Not a bench player.
Moore, of course, I had on the bench; he played at the beginning of MLS’s run. And Noonan was a solid player up top for the Revs.