New England Revolution

What to know about the Revolution’s start to the preseason

New England plays three more friendlies before its regular season opener on Feb. 25.

Revolution midfielder Jack Panayotou in a preseason match against the Union
18-year-old midfielder Jack Panayotou with the ball for the Revolution in the Feb. 5 match against the Union. New England Revolution

The Revolution’s 2-0 Sunday loss to the Philadelphia Union was the second friendly of New England’s preseason but just the first match open to the public. 

The match on Sunday marked the end of the first week of the Revolution’s three-week trip to Florida. The team traveled to the Sunshine State in order to play their preseason friendlies after spending the first three weeks of camp in Foxborough. 

New England’s first friendly was held behind closed doors against Inter Miami on Feb. 3. In that match head coach Bruce Arena used two different groups of 11 in each half.


The second match didn’t provide much in terms of goal scoring by the squad, but Arena used the game to continue developing match fitness and refine the number of players in the rotation. 

The starters for the match were Djordje Petrović in goal, and Ryan Spaulding, Dave Romney, Christian Makoun, Brandon Bye, and Joshua Bolma in the defense. The midfielders were Latif Blessing, Jack Panayotou, and Carles Gil, and up top were Dylan Borrero and Jozy Altidore.

One player, Bolma, the team’s 2023 first-round pick, played the full 90 minutes against the Union while five others played more than 60 minutes. Petrović allowed one goal in the first half before being replaced at halftime by Earl Edwards Jr. 

One of the top contributors in the match was Panayotou, who played 61 minutes. The 18-year-old from Cambridge made his debut in the team’s first friendly against Miami and netted a goal in that contest.

Against Philadelphia, a Panayotou pass to Altidore in the penalty box was one of the best chances created by the Revolution. 

One of the team’s newest additions, Romney talked about how impressed he’s been by Panayotou and other teenagers, Esmir Bajraktarevic and Noel Buck.


“There’s a lot of young guys we have that I was shocked when I found out how old they were, just because we didn’t have an academy in Nashville that was kind of playing with us,” said Romney. “Just the level that these guys have, the raw talent they have, is crazy.”

One of the biggest challenges so far for the Revolution during their Florida camp has been the change in weather. Romney talked about the issues with the climate.

“It’s never easy to play out in the sun and humidity like that, but it’s one of those things where you kind of have to grind mentally more than anything physically,” added Romney. “No matter how fit you are, you’re going to feel pretty terrible in these humid areas, so it’s just being able to mentally recognize how bad you feel and just push through it.”

New England’s next preseason friendly will be on Friday against Romney’s former squad, Nashville S.C. After Nashville, the Revolution will have two more friendlies against FC Cincinnati and Orlando City before traveling to Charlotte for their regular season opener on Feb 25. 


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