New England Revolution heart again Henry Kessler is younger MLS participant with all-star potential who wants a do-over.
Kessler, 26, is rebuilding his profession in a brand new system underneath a brand new head coach after lacking 24 straight video games final season with a hamstring damage that required surgical procedure.
Kessler had conditioning and preventive methods in place earlier than the Revolution launched into a brand new period underneath Caleb Porter on the membership’s coaching facility on the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
“I feel really good and I think the build-up so far in preseason has been good and I am looking to playing more and more,” mentioned Kessler. “I began with 45 minutes and the subsequent time is 60 and we are going to proceed to construct on that.
“I kind of feel like this is great. I am building into the season properly and looking forward to it.”
Kessler returned to play the ultimate three common season video games and two MLS Cup playoff video games towards Philadelphia. The Revolution had been a membership in turmoil within the ultimate three months, having misplaced head coach and sporting director Bruce Arena underneath a darkish cloud at the beginning of August.
Despite his historical past of accidents and harm management occurring within the entrance workplace, the Revolution tendered Kessler a two-year contract extension utilizing focused allocation cash via the 2025 season with a one-year membership possibility in 2026.
“I meant a lot to me,” mentioned Kessler. “It meant that they thought of me as a player that was here for the long-term and that they still believed in me.”
Porter has received MLS Cups with Portland and Columbus so he has a monitor file of constructing a again line to satisfy the challenges of MLS. Kessler has seen systematic alterations on the again finish however stays a part of the Revolution’s Big Three together with MLS ironman Andrew Farrell and the sturdy Dave Romney.
“The new system requires a guy that is good on the ball and good defensively,” mentioned Kessler. “We have talked about constructing with two, constructing with three and constructing alternative ways and on the ball, be ready to construct in several methods.
“Defensively we are going to be a team that likes to press. You are going to be one-on-one at times and you are going to have to be comfortable doing that. That is what I have been presented with so far.”
Romney is a nine-year MLS veteran who got here to New England in a commerce from Nashville on Jan. 6, 2023. Romney became an important low season acquisition Arena made. Romney grew to become the second participant in membership historical past to play each minute of the 34-regular season video games for a complete of three,060 minutes.
“I played mostly with Dave last year and with him a lot this preseason too,” mentioned Kessler. “I think we have good chemistry and he is a great player. He is good on the ball and defensively as well. So, we have been playing next to each other a bunch.”
Since being taken within the first spherical out of Virginia within the 2020 MLS SuperDraft, Kessler has been surrounded by distinctive gamers. He’s loved the good thing about taking part in between two of essentially the most dynamic exterior backs in MLS, DeJuan Jones, and Brandon Bye, who is predicted to return from knee surgical procedure this summer season.
Kessler has additionally performed in entrance of two of the highest keepers in MLS, Matt Turner and Djordje Petrovic, each of whom had been misplaced to the English Premier League.
Keeper was a precedence for brand new sporting director Curt Onalfo who acquired Henrich Ravas final month. Ravas is an internationally examined keeper who has performed in England, Poland and with the Slovakian nationwide workforce.
“Henrich looks sharp and he looks good and he’s got good size,” mentioned Kessler. “It is a small sample size I have had so far but I’m impressed by what I’ve seen of him. If he does half as well as those other guys, he will be a great addition to the team.”
The Revolution have already performed one preseason sport towards the New York Red Bulls and can host FC Cincinnati on Thursday. The Revolution interact Orlando City SC in Orlando on Feb. 10 and the Philadelphia Union on the Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex in Clearwater, Fla.
The Revolution will open the season in Panama for Round One of the 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup towards CA Independiente at Estadio Universitario FC on Wednesday Feb. 21. The Revs open the MLS season at D.C United on Feb. 24.
“It is a hectic way to start the season,” mentioned Kessler. “There are lots of video games early however we’re constructing and getting ready for that so I’m certain there’s going to be some rotation.
“But it is an aggressive way to start the year and I think we will be ready for it.”