As the New England Revolution cope with the agony of defeat, time marches on.
Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena reflected on New England’s 2021 season and looked ahead to 2022 Tuesday night, following the team’s exit from the MLS Cup Playoffs. After a record-setting regular season, which netted a first Supporters Shield title in club history, the Revolution were hoping to win MLS Cup for the first time. However, New England’s loss to New York City FC in a penalty shootout, following a 2-2 draw, dashed those hopes.
“It was good,” Arena said in a postgame press conference, per a transcript the Revolution provided. “We had a very good year, and you could argue that maybe we played a little bit in over our heads. I think it was a good year. We don’t have the best roster in the league. It’s got to get a little bit better, for sure. But I think, if you look at the year on the whole, it was a really good year.
“Certainly, we would’ve liked to have won the MLS Cup, but you know, those things happen when you get into the postseason with single elimination. Then you go to penalties, and you position yourself for that, it’s a crapshoot. Anyone can win. And give New York City credit for winning the shootout.”
When asked whether the Revolution consider the season a success, despite their playoff heartbreak, Arena responded with a one-liner for the ages.
“I think any sensible, reasonable person would say that,” Arena said. “If you think otherwise, I think you need to have your head examined.”
The Revolution’s offseason will be short, as their preseason preparation likely will begin in late January or early February. They’ll begin 2022 Concacaf Champions League in the third week of February, and their 2022 MLS season is scheduled to kick off Feb. 26 when they visit the Portland Timbers.