Boston-area teenagers have Revolution II on cusp of MLS NEXT Pro Championship
If the heated playoff race in Major League Soccer isn’t enough soccer to satisfy your needs, enter the MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs, where the New England Revolution’s reserve team, Revolution II, are set to take on Columbus Crew 2 in the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro Eastern Conference Final this Saturday, October 14 at 5 p.m. at Gillette Stadium. Only two wins away from hoisting the team’s first championship, a bevy of young, local talent have played pivotal roles for Revs II during the team’s record-breaking season.
Revolution II, a professional team competing in the third division of U.S. Soccer’s pyramid, mixes youth amateurs with developing pros. Now in its fourth season, the team advanced to the conference final after defeating the New York Red Bulls’ affiliate, 2-1, at Gillette Stadium last weekend. Groton, Mass. native Malcolm Fry opened the scoring for New England, while Boston College graduate Victor Souza, the Revolution’s second-round pick in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft, sealed the victory with a second-half header to extend the postseason run.
Homegrown Player Jack Panayotou, a Cambridge, Mass. native who regularly features for U.S. Youth National Teams, continues to make an impact in key moments, as the midfielder recorded the game-winning assist on Souza’s tally. Panayotou, currently in his first season on New England’s MLS roster, has logged five goals and three assists with Revolution II in 2023.
Fry’s goal and Panayotou’s assist in Friday’s victory marked the 40th and 41st goal contribution by Revolution Academy products in 2023. Revolution II’s roster continues to feature top local talent with Fry, Panayotou, Peyton Miller (Unionville, Conn.), Colby Quiñones (Bedford, N.H.), Olger Escobar (Malden, Mass.), and Brandonn Bueno (Framingham, Mass.) all in the matchday squad for the conference semifinal.
What does it mean for these local kids to lead their hometown club’s B-team to the verge of a league title? Just ask Fry, who has been playing alongside many of his current teammates since his youth days in the Revs Academy.
“I cannot stop smiling. I mean, I love soccer man. Some games you dominate and just, everything feels good, and you get the ball, and you don’t score every chance, but every time you got the ball, it feels like you’re going to score, and I love those games,” Fry said. “And then some games, you have to suffer, you have to defend a lot, you have to take your chances when they come, and I love those games.
“I mean, I just love this, I can’t stop smiling. I love this game.”
Revolution II are now set to host the defending MLS NEXT Pro Cup champions Columbus Crew 2 on Saturday night. New England owns a 10-1-5 record at Gillette Stadium this season. The MLS NEXT Pro Eastern Conference Final kicks off at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium. The match streams live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV and tickets are on sale now for only $10.