New England finished second in the crowded Northeast division in 2013/14, making the play-offs as the #12 seed. The Revolution then failed to win a play-off pool game.
Most clubs would consider a year that ended in a play-off run a success. Not the Boston-based club. They want more. They have their work cut out for them.The 2014/15 Revs will bring back arguably the cornerstone of last years team in Haitian-American ’96 Zachary Herivaux. The former US U14 & 15 star started all 23 games he participated in. Herivaux is a central midfielder who enjoys playing deeper in the middle. Herivaux has played a number of times with the Revolution reserves, experiences that made him grow as a player by speeding his decision making ability.
Herivaux’s midfield compliment, former US U17 defensive midfielder ’96 Guyllain Kabala. Kabala and Herivaux former one of the best partnerships in all of USSDA U18 play last year and the Revolution will see the center of the park as somewhere they need to dominate.
Herivaux and Kabala’s play impressed college coaches nationwide. Herivaux ended his recruitment by committing to Big East’s Providence College, while Kabala will take his skills to Virginia.
Look for Derek Blanchette to provide a spark from the midfield as well.
In attack the Revolution will miss ’96 Danny Apajee and ’96 Declan McCabe, at Syracuse and Georgetown respectively. The U18s will rely on U16s ’97 Amadu Kanuteh. Kanuteh was the leading goal-getter with 13 last season.
Kanuteh will be joined in attack by ’96 Edward Venta-Yepes who spent part of his summer trialing with Brazilian outfit Fluminense and Argentina side Racing. Venta-Yepes showed well down in South American, but will return home in hopes to secure a strong college offer.
He told OWTY at the beginning of 2014 that he was only receiving minor interest from D1 programs. Look for that to change following a successful USSDA campaign. Venta-Yepes is a real talent.
Defensively the Revs will be solid. They’ll be lead by outstanding goalkeeper ’96 Austin Aviza. Aviza, like Herivaux was invited to train with the Revolution first team and play with the reserves at times. If for whatever reason Aviza is unable to go the U18s have a more than capable back-up in ’98 William Sinibaldi. Sinibaldi doesn’t boast the physical attributes Aviza has, but he is a extremely solid keeper in his own respect.
In front of Aviza or Sinbaldi will be experience defender ’97 Christopher Arling. Arling was fantastic last season for the Revolution and one of the most underrated players on the East Coast. He will be a real leader for the entire team moving forward. At 6-2 he’s got great size yet does not through himself into silly challenges. Arling will be joined by fellow ’97s Benjamin Waithe, TJ Soehn, and Matt Morana.
The Revolution U16 squad will look to build off a disappointing 6th place finished in the Northeast. They will return ’98 Max Diamond, ’98 Matthew Ranieri and ’98 Nicholas Woodruff. This trio should the spine of the team with Ranieri and Woodruff playing defense, with Diamond in a more advanced role. ’98 Aaron James and ’98 Santiago Cardona contributed as role players last year and will be asked to do much more for the Revolution this season.
The U16s will be joined by a solid group of ’99s headlined by US U15 National Team pool player ’99 Justin Rennicks. Rennicks is a swift attacker who enjoyed success last season at the U14 level playing as a center forward. Justin was called up to the Revolution U16s a few times last year and showed well. He ended the year with 14 goals, second on the U14 team.
Another talented ’99 to watch will be ’99 Calvin Aroh. Aroh is a tidy defender who has a knack for bagging a goal or two. He should blend nicely with Woodruff and Ranieri.
’99 Travis Van Brewer, ’99 Daniel Jones and ’99 Joseph Brito are a few other names to keep an eye on.
The U16 x-factor might be ’99 Christian Schifano, who’s 16 goals led the U14 last season, despite only playing in 21 matches. Schifano is a electric talent who has been with the Revolution for a few years now, even playing with the U16s as a 14 year old. His partnership and understanding with Jones and Rennicks will be paramount if the Revolution U16s are to be successful. Schifano has good size and speed, but it’s his left foot that makes him one of the most dynamic ’99s in the league. He’s an Italian born American who will surely garner interest abroad soon.
The U14s will role out two of the nation’s top ’00 talents in ’00 Isaac Angking an ’00 Amos Shapiro-Thompson. Angking and Shapiro-Thompson are both key figures in for the US U14s, having been recently called in. The 4-10 Shapiro-Thompson is not going to win many balls in the air, but his first touch and vision are years beyond his age. Shapiro-Thompson plays mainly as a central midfielder, while the 5-0 Angking is deploy often as a defender.
’01 Trevor Burns showed well a number of times last year and will be a vital piece for the U14s. Other names I am hearing will make an impression are ’00 Brandon Jones, ’00 Connor Haskell, and smooth attacker Laz Dorogi. Dorogi only got a handful matches but was rewarded for his efforts with 5 goals. He should be the main goal-scoring threat this year.
Club Captain :: Christopher Arling
Impact Player :: Justin Rennicks
Club Talisman :: Edward Venta-Yepes
Club Star :: Zachary Herivaux
Defensive Stalwart :: Austin Aviza
Top Prospect :: Amos Shapiro-Thompson
Pro Prospect :: Christian Schifano