The New England Revolution appears set for the future thanks to some recent smart decisions from the front office and new head coach Bruce Arena. This is supported by great current day players on the roster, especially on the offensive end. And yet there were some even better scorers and playmakers in the relatively short history of the Revolution.
5. Jo-Max Moore
Moore moved to California from Oklahoma when he started high school and played boys soccer at Mission Viejo as a four-year starter. Heavily recruited, he chose to play soccer at UCLA. As a freshman, he scored 11 goals, assisted on 10 others, and was named to the Soccer America Magazine’s All-Freshman team. As a sophomore, he earned second-team All-American honors and was a first-team All-American as a junior while also leading the team in scoring. At the end of his three-year collegiate career, he had scored a total of 38 goals and assisted on 24 others in 65 games. He was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014.
In 1996, the newly formed MLS attempted equally distribute talent across all of its teams. It did this by assigning the top players to different teams. The league initially allocated Giuseppe Galderisi to the New England Revolution. However, due to injuries and poor play, the MLS quickly replaced him with Moore. Moore’s first stint with the Revolution was him at his best.
In his first season, he was named the Revolution’s most valuable player and top scorer with 11 goals in 14 games. He followed that up with a down year due to injuries, and then a recovery season in year three. In the 1999 season, Moore finally showed the class he was hiding for the past two years. He produced 15 goals and eight assists en route to being the Revs MVP, scoring champ and All-Star. His success with the Revs led him to the English Premier League with historic club Everton. He finished his career with New England, but he just wasn’t the same player upon return. He is in the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
4. Diego Fagundez
Fagúndez was born in Uruguay, but his family moved to Leominster, Massachusetts when he was five years old. There he began soccer, where he played for the town until around the age of 13. Diego then went to play for FC United and the FC Greater Boston Bolts. He also played for the Massachusetts Olympic Development Program from 2006 to 2009, captaining his last two years there before joining the New England Revolution academy team. In his debut season, he led the U-16 squad to first place in the Northeast Division of the US Soccer Development Academy. He scored 20 goals in 30 appearances, tying for most goals on the team. In 2011, Top Drawer Soccer named Fagúndez their best youth player nationally in his class.
On November 15, 2010, Fagúndez signed a contract with the New England Revolution, making him the first-ever youth academy signing for the Revolution. Although he was on the main club roster, he trained and played for the academy team. Diego was not a regular in the squad until 2013, where Fagúndez became a common starter. Fagúndez quickly became one of MLS’s great young talents with 13 goals and seven assists in the 2013 season, even becoming the Revs MVP and scoring champ.
While he hasn’t exactly reached that same production, he did get close in 2018 when he bagged nine goals and ten assists. He has had one of the best beginnings to a career in MLS history, as he is the youngest player to reach 100 appearances for his club, and the youngest player in MLS history to reach 50 goals. He is still only 24, and he could one day be considered the best Revolution player of all time.
3. Lee Nguyen
Nguyen has been one of the most productive attackers in his time in the MLS. He has been productive his whole career and was recognized as such early in his career. Like in high school, when he earned the title of National Gatorade Boys Soccer High School Player of the Year in 2005. When it came time to pick a college, he chose Indiana University out of the plethora of suitors. He played one season for them in 2005, producing five goals and 12 assists in 22 games. He was named to the first team All-Big Ten and also Big Ten Freshman of the Year. In addition to conference honors, Nguyen was also named National Freshman of the Year by Soccer America and Soccer Times.
PSV jumped on Lee after that terrific freshman campaign, signing him for three and a half years. But after receiving virtually no first-team opportunities, Nguyen jumped ship to Danish Superliga club Randers FC. There he spent two years making 23 appearances with the club, but that wasn’t enough for him. So he jumped ship again, moving to Vietnam to play for Hoàng Anh Gia Lai, where he excelled. After moving to another Vietnamese team, Nguyen finally set agreed to join the MLS.
Nguyen finally chose to set up shop with the MLS in 2011 and was originally allocated to the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. But he was surprisingly waived early in the preseason. In the 2012 MLS Waiver Draft, he found his new home when he was selected by the New England Revolution with the second overall pick. Nguyen made 30 regular-season appearances for the Revolution in 2012, finishing second in scoring with five goals. This led to his first Revolution MVP award. He followed that up with four goals and seven assists in 2013, before having his best season in 2014.
In 2014, Nguyen led the Revolution with 18 goals and five assists, which is the most ever by a midfielder in an MLS season. He was once again voted the Midnight Riders Man of the Year, and was named as a finalist for the 2014 MLS MVP award. While he declined in 2015 compared to the prior year, Nguyen still led the team in assists and finished second in scoring. In 2016, Nguyen became the Revolution’s team captain. That year he led the team in assists with 10 and finished third in goals scored with six.
He would also finish the 2017 season first in assists, and second in goals scored amid heavy transfer speculation from the Isreali PL. Due to contract disputes, Nguyen unfortunately left the club in 2018 in a trade with LAFC. He is currently ranked second in both goals and assists all-time for the Revolution, cementing his scoring and playmaking ability.
2. Steve Ralston
By far the best player to set up goals in Revolution history, Ralston had a very long and successful career. Steven played for Florida International University and was seen as a raw talent. Ralston joined the Tampa Bay Mutiny after being drafted 18th overall in the 1996 MLS College Draft. He shined in his debut year, proceeding to become the first MLS player to win the Rookie of the Year Award. Ralston played for the Mutiny for six years, leaving after the team fell apart in 2002. In his time with them, he had 34 goals and 62 assists. He’s Tampa Bay’s all-time leader in games played (177) and points (130). He joined the New England Revolution and continued his career where he left off.
In his first year with the Revolution, Ralston led the league in assists, with 19, and popped in five goals along the way. This earned a selection to the MLS “best XI” team along with teammate Twellman. Just two years later he won the Revs MVP award after producing seven goals and eight assists. He would continue to be a presence for the club, even being named Revs MVP in his second to last season with the club in 2008. Steve left the club in 2009, and returned in 2010, but retired due to injury. He is currently fourth in Revolution scoring, and comfortably in first assist-wise. While he was amazing, a superstar teammate tops him.
1. Taylor Twellman
Twellman is one of the most lethal scorers in league history, as well as the only Revolution player to win league MVP. He scored 101 goals in his eight-year career, which now ranks tenth in MLS history. In five of his eight seasons, he reached 10 goals, even hitting 15 goals four of those times. The five-time MLS All-Star had a terrific career, starting in Missouri.
Taylor attended Saint Louis University High School, where he was an all-star athlete in football, basketball, soccer, and baseball. He even received a contract by the MLB’s Kansas City Royals. But after graduating in 1998, Taylor instead chose to play soccer at Maryland. Twellman played for the Terrapins for two seasons, from 1998 to 1999. In just his first year, Twellman was named a second-team All American. But in his sophomore season, he finished even better as a runner-up for both the Hermann Trophy and the MAC Player of the Year Award. He chose to leave college and turn pro shortly after.
Twellman signed with German club 1860 Munich, where he spent two years with the team only playing for the reserve team in Division III. Twellman returned to the U.S. when he was drafted second overall by the New England Revolution. In Twellman’s first season in MLS, he made an immediate impact. He established himself as arguably the best player in the league after scoring 23 goals along with six assists. He finished second for MVP and was named to the 2002 MLS Best XI.
In 2003, he finished tied for the most goals in the league, despite fighting numerous injuries. His production went down the next season in 2004 but still produced nine goals. Twellman’s best MLS season came in 2005 when he won both the MLS MVP and MLS Golden Boot. He would stay relevant for a few more years before all of the injuries finally ended his career. He is currently the Revs all-time scorer with 50 goals more than the next man.
Twellman has been active post-retirement and is currently serving as lead analyst for ESPN’s MLS coverage. Twellman has also created the THINKTaylor foundation, charity regarding concussions in sports. Taylor takes concussions and injuries seriously and has even agreed to donate his brain to science.