N.E. Revolution start preseason training Monday, to face Haitian club Cavaly AS on Feb. 15 – Fall River Herald News

The shortest off-season in team history will end on Monday, when the New England Revolution begin preparations for what promises to be a very busy schedule. 
Preparations must start earlier because the Revolution will be playing in the Concacaf Champions League in addition to MLS. Therefore, the team must start training before the rest of the league. They open their Round of 16 series on Feb. 15, in Haiti, against Cavaly AS and will play the return leg one week later at Gillette Stadium.
Also, since the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is scheduled to be played between Nov. 21 and Dec. 18, due to that country’s intense summer heat, the regular season will have to be condensed to around 28 days. Major League Soccer kicks off the season on Feb. 26, the earliest start to a season in league history. For example, this past season the Revolution had their first game, a 2-2 draw in Chicago, on April 17.
The 2022 MLS Cup will be played on Nov. 5, a mere 16 days prior to the kickoff for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
A number of Revolution players have already arrived in Foxboro and began training on their own at the club’s state-of-the-art facility, the Socios.com Training Center, but the official date for everyone to arrive is on Monday, Jan. 10. Usually players go through physicals on the first day and are scheduled to start their preseason training on Wednesday, Jan. 12.
On Wednesday, the club announced that the team will remain in Foxboro until Jan. 25. They will then depart for more than two weeks of training at Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles, Calif., where they will remain until Feb. 9. While there, the Revs are scheduled to play a couple of friendly matches, first on Jan. 29 against Los Angeles FC at Banc of California Stadium, and then on Feb. 5 against the LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park.
After they return to Foxboro, the Revs will have just a few days to prepare for their Concacaf Champions League debut. 
The Revolution qualified for the 2022 CCL as the Major League Soccer’s 2021 Supporters’ Shield winner, the first time the team entered this competition since 2008. And it was in 2008 that the Revs won their lone continental title, the SuperLiga.
Cavaly AS is one of three clubs making their CCL debut in 2021, and reached the Round of 16 by winning the 2021 Caribbean Club Championship.
Both clubs already know that the winner of this series will next meet the winner of the Deportivo Saprissa (Costa Rica)-Pumas (Mexico) series in the Quarterfinals. 
MLS Super Draft on Tuesday
While the players will be focusing on their physicals, the Revolution technical staff will be concentrating on the 2022 edition of the MLS SuperDraft, which is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 11.
The Revolution have done fairly well in the draft as most of their starting defenders were obtained via that route. 
Central defender Andrew Farrell was drafted first overall in 2013; goal keeper Matt Turner, who three weeks ago made USMNT history with his ninth shutout of 2021, in a 1-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina, was actually an undrafted college player who signed on March 3, 2016; wing defender Brandon Bye was a first round pick in 2018; the other wing defender, DeJuan Jones, was also a first round pick in 2019, the same year the Revs selected Canadian international Tajon Buchanan, who was transferred to Belgian side Club Brugge; and finally central defender Henry Kessler, who played all 90 minutes in his first start in that U.S. victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina, was the sixth-overall pick in 2020.
The site topdrawersoccer.com has the Revolution selecting Ryan Sailor, a defender who was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, labeled as “an imposing central defender coming off his finest season at University of Washington.”
Diogo Pacheco is one of the top prospects in Tuesday’s Super Draft
For Portuguese fans, the focus in the Super Draft will be Diogo Pacheco, a native of Lisbon, Portugal, who has been at Akron University since 2018. Akron University is the same school that produced João Moutinho, the first-overall selection of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft. He is currently with Orlando City FC.
Pacheco came up through the youth system at Sport Lisboa e Benfica and Odivelas, and also played for G.S. Loures and Alverca Futebol Clubs. In addition, he was a part of the Clube de Futebol Os Belenenses that was runner-up in the U-19 National Championship during the 2016-17 season.
He has been so successful with the Zips that some national sites have him being picked in the top 10 spots on Tuesday. 
In the recently concluded 2021 season, Diogo Pacheco won “First-Team All-MAC honors for the second consecutive campaign after starting 11 of the 17 matches he appeared in for the Zips, registering team-high marks in goals (7), assists (7), points (21), shots (46), shots on goal (14) and game-winners (2).”
He was in the score sheet in 11 of Akron’s 18 games, had the game-winning goal in the 76th minute in a 2-1 victory over No. 3 Pitt, and registered another game winner against Georgia Southern. In addition, he registered game-winning assists in a team-high four games, against Michigan State, Robert Morris, Penn State and No. 14 Bowling Green.
A major in business administration, son of Nuno and Carla Pacheco, Diogo was considered by 90min.com. to be the 6th top MLS prospect in Tuesday’s Super Draft. 
The site had this to say about Diogo: “one of the more experienced players in the Draft, the redshirt senior from Portugal was a stalwart of the Zips’ attack during his career. The international player had seven goals and seven assists in 2021, including an eight-shot performance against Georgia State. While he would take up an international spot, Pachecho would be an experienced addition to any side, as he can use his left foot to create in just about any situation.
“He’s technical/creative on the ball, serves in a great ball, and has the playmaking ability ready for MLS.”
The off-season 
Although they are coming off a record breaking regular season, as they set the MLS record for points, with 73, the Revs did not stand pat and made a number of roster changes.
They lost Tajon Buchanan, the Canadian international who was a key to the team’s success in 2021, on a very lucrative transfer to Belgian side Club Brugge. In addition, they traded Teal Bunbury to Nashville SC for $150,000 in GAM, and did not renew the contract of Homegrown midfielder Scott Caldwell, who had been with the team since 2013 and interestingly also attended Akron University. Although there has been no confirmation, media reports have Caldwell joining Real Salt Lake.
But, they made up for those departures by adding a couple of very solid veterans. 
On Dec. 16, they announced the acquisition of U. S. International defender Sebastian Lletget. In exchange they sent the LA Galaxy $500,000 in General Allocation Money.
“In Sebastian Lletget, we have acquired a midfielder who has experienced success at both the MLS and international levels,” Revolution Sporting Director and Head Coach Bruce Arena said. “He is a talented player who is a dependable box-to-box player, can score goals, and is an excellent team player. Sebastian is a great addition to our team.”
The 29 year old midfielder, a native of San Francisco, came up through the West Ham United academy system, but after five years returned home and in 2015 signed with the LA Galaxy.
Lletget spent parts of seven seasons with the Galaxy, making 164 league and playoff appearances, netting 25 goals and adding seven assists.
He is viewed as a versatile player. At times a central attacking midfielder, he can also play on the wing, and is likely targeted to take the slot that was held by Tajon Buchanan before his departure for Club Brugge.
On Dec. 22, the Revolution introduced United States international Omar Gonzalez, a three-time MLS Cup Champion Defender who was named MLS Best XI defender on four occasions and MLS Defender of the Year in 2011.
“Omar Gonzalez is a proven winner, with trophies in Mexico and the United States. His experience internationally brings a unique background to the Revolution,” Bruce Arena said. “We anticipate that Omar will complement our current backline and help build this unit into one of the best in MLS.”
Gonzalez played for Bruce Arena while with the LA Galaxy, winning three MLS Cup titles and two Supporters’ Shields. 
Some media outlets have reported that 20-year-old left back Jose Ítalo, a member of Flamengo’s U-20 squad, is on his way to Foxboro. Bloom Soccer, the agency that represents Ítalo, posted a video to their Instagram account indicating that the deal had been finalized with the Brazilian side.
“We can confirm, with a lot of satisfaction, the transfer of left-back Ítalo to the New England Revolution, after eight years playing for Flamengo. Ítalo signs a two-year contract and will have his first experience outside of Brazil. He will join the club in January to participate in the preseason in Los Angeles.”
Journalist Bruno Oliveira of territoriomls.com, a Brazilian site based in the U.S., added a few more details. Citing a source close to the Revs, Oliveira reported that Ítalo “would arrive to play in the Revs’ B team, the New England Revolution II, which currently plays in USL League One (third division), but is expected to soon move to MLS Next Pro, a new league that is scheduled to debut in 2022. If he has a positive evaluation,he could move up to the Revs’ first team during the 2022 season.”
Although we are only five weeks away from the first official game, it is likely that in the next few days there will be additional player movement in the Revolution roster. 


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