Teach 2 Dumb Dudes

Jeff Lemieux: The Inside Man For The New England Revolution

June 13, 2022 Joe Bento Season 2 Episode 9
Teach 2 Dumb Dudes
Jeff Lemieux: The Inside Man For The New England Revolution
Show Notes Transcript

In this week's episode we're talking to Jeff Lemieux. Jeff is the senior staff writer and editor for the New England Revolution. We talk all things MLS with Jeff including Bruce Arena and the impact he's made at the club, how transferring popular players out of the MLS is a good thing for the future of the league, promotion/relegation, and will the Revolution ever get a their own stadium? Jeff gives us great insight on the past, present, and future of the MLS with the usually laughs you can expect from these two dumb dudes.  Check out Jeff's content at revolutionsoccer.net

Bento:

What's up, everybody. Welcome to another episode of teach to dumb dudes today. Bobby and I are talking football and by football, I mean soccer with Jeff Lemieux. He's the senior staff writer and editor of the new England revolution near and dear to Bobby and I's heart where both revolution fans. Talk about some really cool stuff. Talk about Bruce arena. Talk a little bit about the EPL. He's a Newcastle guy. Talk about contracts and Matt Turner. Definitely a really good show.

Bobby:

Check Jeff's stuff

Bento:

at revolution, soccer.net hello, Jeff. How's it going? Good. How are you? Not too bad. Good to hear. Sweet. Thanks a lot for coming on. We I, you know, I reached out to Connor, just kind of and I was like, ah, you know, I'll just, I just ask them, we're seeing, he says no, you know, and he hooked me up with you really quick. So that was really cool. Yeah. And always, how do

Jeff:

you where's the connection with Connor?

Bento:

So I'm a season ticket holder. He's my account rep. There you go. Yeah.

Jeff:

How long have you been a season ticket holder? Three years now. Okay, nice. Yep. So you hopped on right at Berry hopped on the Bruce train? Pretty much.

Bento:

Yeah, we did actually, me and Rob here, we, guess for the very first Brad Friedel year and I think we skipped a year after that and then he and my other buddy, he had been season ticket holder ever since. Yeah. Nice.

Jeff:

Yeah. The freedom era got off to a decent start for a little while there and then yeah, not so

Bobby:

much. Yeah, it's too bad. It's too bad. We even went to the you know, a little fan appreciation event beforehand. We got to, you know, meet him, shake hands and all that kind of stuff. And I was really looking forward

Jeff:

to him.

Bento:

So thanks again, Jeff, for coming on. Why don't you, you know, usually we just start off the introduction with kind of a little bit about yourself how you got into this job and, and what exactly do you do for the, during the

Jeff:

revolution? Yeah, so I have been with the revs for, oh gosh, this is my. 15th season. Oh, wow. I've been with the club for a long, long time. Probably too long. Right. Too long too. You shouldn't need to, no one should do anything for, for that long.

Bobby:

If I could work at a soccer club, I would love to be there 15 years. Right.

Jeff:

So yeah, so I started out actually in. In communications did that for a couple years. And then we really created the digital department from scratch. My first my first few years with the club it was the digital departments and kind of in-house digital media was really just becoming popular at that point. This was around 2010, 2011, 2012. Teams were kind of starting to develop those in-house media departments. And we were looking for someone to come in and be an on-camera host and writer for the team. And I hadn't really had any designs or plans on doing that. And shifting into that role, I was actually kind of helping the PR department and the digital apartment search for someone to fill that role. And then the super draft came along. We didn't have that role filled yet. So I stepped in and did it at the super draft and kind of enjoyed it. So just kind of slid into that role and started doing this. The written side of stuff and a little bit on camera side of stuff and spin a 12, 12, 13 years later. And and here we are, and, you know, just kind of covering the team from, from an in-house media perspective, trying to tell the stories of these players trying to tell the stories on the field, off the field, provide a little bit of insight into these guys' personalities, give a little bit of access that you're not going to be able to get from traditional media outlets. So that's, that's really the goal of our department every day is to try to you know, try to create some bonds between. The players and the supporters tell their stories and and hopefully kind of D you know, continue to deepen those bonds between between the club and the players, or that the squad enough

supporters.

Bobby:

And especially, you know, with so many of these guys are young and have come from various countries in various places around the world. And some of them have quite outrageous and very interesting, and in some cases, very sad stories. And so I do absolutely love that part of it. I know you know, as Bentham said, we're both huge football fans. And so whenever we hear those stories about either revolution players or, you know, you know, players of clubs that we like at the EPL or whatever, it is such a different thing, to be able to feel like to connect, you do feel that what's the word I'm looking for here? You feel that connection with the players and it does help you become a greater supporter of

Jeff:

them? Yeah. I mean, there was even a time when I remember spending, you know, two or three days, one off season, basically just kind of like scrolling through YouTube and watching a ton of digital content from premier league clubs and other European clubs and other MLS clubs. And just kind of trying to, you know, you're not trying to, I don't want to copy what other teams are doing necessarily. You're trying to spark ideas, just kind of seeing what other stuff, things are doing, pull little things that you like here or there. And I remember watching a ton of arsenal content and they had just done a ton of really good stuff and the players were really into it. And you were getting a really, really good insight into some of these players personalities. And you know, it's, it's probably like five or six players on the roster who are really into that stuff. And they were, they were the guys who were really the faces of the club on their YouTube channel. And I'm not an arsenal. That all, you know, I'm, I'm an, I'm an actually a new castle fan. Unfortunately,

Bento:

you must

Jeff:

be excited now, you know, what what's funny is I feel like I'm in a, a significant minority and that the whole, the whole takeover and the, the powers that be behind the takeover is just a little it's. I don't know. It, it doesn't give me warm, cozy

Bobby:

funeral. I mean, it's gotta be better than what was the last like Ashley, right? It was at

Jeff:

the last guy and look, they were bounced. They were bouncing up and down and like, it's going to be nice to have a cash infusion in the club, obviously. I'm sure on Saturday mornings I'll wake up and I'll watch those games. And I won't think at all, Coming from potential shady locations. But yeah, I I'm like, I feel like I was, I thought it was gonna be a split, like a 50, 50 split when new castle got taken over, people were kind of upset with it and people weren't, but it's not, it's like 99.9, 9% of people are thrilled about it. But going back to arsenal, like I said, I'm not, I'm not an arsenal guy. I'm not an arsenal fan. I have no particular connection to arsenal, but I watched some of their content and all of a sudden I found myself on the weekends, like cheering for Wojciech Szczesny and like all these, all these players who I like kinda got a feel like Alex talks like Chamberlin and all these guys who was like, oh, He seems like a good guy on YouTube. I'm kinda pulling for him now. So we kind of always try to tell that to players a little bit, like, Hey, there, there is value here. You know, we're not doing this just to do this. Like, if you can, if you can kind of show that personality and you can become a little bit of a fan favorite in that sense. You get people on your side and it gives you maybe a little bit of a longer leash. Like it gives you a little more leeway and people pull for you a little bit more. They're very, real-world examples

Bento:

of that. I think it's good. It's good segway. Like, you know, what comes to mind for me is Olivia Jeru. When he went to Chelsea, you know, like he's guy was from arsenal, like arsenal legend. So obviously, you know, our biggest rival team goes to Chelsea Wednesday Europa league, and they do like the back in the bus and he's like, thank you, arsenal for the trophy and lifts it. And like little things like that. And it is cool to like see the personalities of the players, like Rugers and other example on Chelsea. Like that dude is a nut and you really wouldn't notice it. If nobody was back there recording his little dances, he does, they went trophies and locker room stuff, and it's really neat to see that stuff. And like you said, it does give you. That connection with the player that you really wouldn't have. Cause you know, I think if I just watch any other sport that I don't follow often and you just see the players in the field and they're done and that that's really it, it's like, all right, well I'd like the team, but ah, now I can see these personalities and relate to them. It's even more of a

Bobby:

bond. I'm going to say my favorite part though is the fact like I don't do social media. So the fact that I can go to the new England revolution website and see all of those. Is the best for me, because like I said, I'm on social media, so that's why I'm not seeing any of those things. And I love that it's available on all the club websites

Jeff:

now. And see, that's, that's nice to hear from my perspective, because one of my duties, I mean, obviously, you know, creating the content and generating content ideas is kind of the crux of the position and writing stories and interviewing players and the way that most people are consuming that nowadays is going to be on their phone, through social media. But I also, you know, I'm kind of in charge of maintaining that front look of the website in terms of writing headlines, writing descriptions, deciding what's going to be highlighted. What's going to be highlighted in the main block and the three blocks below that on the side. And like, I spend, you know, a little bit of time deciding what to highlight here and what to highlight there in the back of my head, thinking like how many people are actually coming to this website to find this. Most people are just going to see it on social. So it's kind of comforting to me to hear that there are at least a couple of people still actually going to the club to find

Bobby:

the content. Sure. I live on, I live on those club websites for sure. Yeah, absolutely. All the time. And that's where it, cause like you said, the arsenal ones I've seen the arsenal ones. Liverpool does the ones where they like go to the kids' schools and they film the players with the kids and like you get all, you get all the, you know, the warm and fuzzies, you know what I mean? It's great to see all the players doing that

Jeff:

stuff. The it's funny, I mean, obviously imagine speaking sort of honestly, at an arsenal segway about Matt Turner, that Turner has endeared himself to new England revolution by his play on the field. Obviously that is why the revolution fans love. Matt Turner has been the best goalkeeper in major league soccer for years. And it's his play on the field that has made him this club legend. But one of the first things that we did with. That seemed like it really endeared him to the fans was we did a holiday feature 2018, where we had him dress up like buddy, the elf buddy, the elf costume. And we straight up recreated like six scenes from LA. No, I mean literally no other context line for line, just reshot shot for shot. These scenes from elf, just have that serve as our holiday content. And he like totally bought in and he got really into it. We spent a couple hours, two different afternoons shooting these scenes. We've got a couple of his teammates involved for some of the scenes and like that became this huge thing. All this. We were like, oh my God, Matt Turner had enough, you know, he had enough self-awareness and enough of a sense of personality and, and a sense of humor about himself to dress up, like buddy the elf, and go do these dumb videos for the digital department. And like, he might be now as he goes off to the premier league, he might be regretting that those things exist on the

Bobby:

internet.

Jeff:

But at the time, those I think those really created a, you know, he's a brand new goalkeeper at the time. He was kind of just getting his feet wet and a. Yeah. I think people saw a little bit that personality, it makes it makes guys easier to cheer

Bobby:

for sure. Absolutely. Absolutely. And I know, I know I was hoping Matt Turner would be starting over a Stephan the whole time for the us men's national team. Cause I, I couldn't believe what a year he had. He was unbelievable. And now he's leaving such a sad day for revolution fans.

Jeff:

It is right. And it's, it's like, it's kinda the nature of the league. Like the better and better the league gets. That's that's what you're going to see. Like the, the goal of the league should be to get to a point where you are seeing some of these players sold for big money, European teams, like that's, that's kind of the level you need to get to. And it is it's, it's so bittersweet and it's tough for, it's tough for kind of American sports fans who aren't maybe as familiar with, you know, the world game. They still don't understand. You've got, you've got this player, who's this fantastic player is one of the best players on your team. Why are we celebrating, selling him to another team? And it's like, well, it's just, that's kind of the nature of. The world game, the premier league is one of the best leagues in the world and makin and go over there and test himself and get these incredible experiences. And then the club can use that cash infusion to go out and spend money on potentially a couple different other players. So there's that whole aspect. Everything be. Yeah. It's, it's tough. It's tough when you know, you're kind of trying to explain to people why it's a good thing that you're selling. You're a all star MLS goalkeeper of the year. But yeah, yeah, that can, that can, that can always be tough.

Bento:

So talk to us a little bit about Bruce. You know, I've always been a fan of his even, I've been a revolution fan since inception, but I also used to follow the galaxy, like the back of years and Bruce arena. So he, he's obviously the best MLS coach that's ever been in the league for sure. Just kinda tell us what it's been like, having him come in and what he's done for the team.

Jeff:

Yeah, I think, I mean, the change you could see was immediate obviously. And you saw that in the immediate results on the field, you know, the team wins,

Bento:

the defense like changed overnight. It

Jeff:

was incredible. I mean, there were, there were two, eight and two at the beginning of that 2019 season at the bottom of the Eastern conference, they were leaking goals and it was a back to back. I think it was a five nil loss, a six one loss things were just kind of in shambles a little bit. And for Bruce to come in and take what was essentially that same group of players and immediately bring them on an 11 game on beaten run and make them a playoff team. It was tough. It was tough to understand exactly what had happened there. Cause it was basically the same group of players. And it really was what a lot of the players pointed to was such. It was such a simple thing, but the fact is, and, and a lot of players have talked about this and, and even Brad Friedel has talked about this in a lot of interviews and podcasts that he's done. You know, Brad Friedel style was, was somewhat strict. Like he kind of wanted to run a really tight ship in new England. And there were a lot of requirements in terms of, you know, what clothes the players were supposed to wear to the games and when they were supposed to eat and who they were supposed to eat with and all that type of stuff. And that was kind of all rooted in Brad Frito's history, playing in England and kind of being in environments where that was the norm. And a lot of a lot of players seem like that wasn't really the style that was going to work for them. And Bruce arena came in and he has, I guess, what you would consider a more kind of American approach to everything in the sense that he came in and was like, look, you guys are adults. You know, eat when you want to eat, eat with who you want to eat with hangout, who you want to with you hang out with when you want, where what you want, you know, as long as you show up to training and put in the work on the training ground, and you show up on Saturday night and you perform on the field, do whatever you want with the rest of your life. And for whatever reason, guys just responded to that guys responded to feeling like they were being treated like adults a little bit more, and you started to see the results on the field. And then they all, it, it obviously didn't didn't hurt that, that year. Carla seals started to get settled in a little bit more. That was his first year in new England. And they brought Gustavo in halfway through the year. And when you get two game changers like that, that ends up making a huge impact as well. But yeah, I mean, Bruce just brought, he just brought a winning mentality and I know that that can sound cliche and you know, how much does it really matter to have a quote unquote winning mentality, but when you, when your player and, you know, you have the best American coach of all time on the sideline. But there's a certain level of confidence that comes along with that simply because, you know, he's on the bench. And I think he simplifies things for the players. A lot of players talk about how, how simple he makes things. He he's, it's not convoluted in terms of his instructions. He's, he's having conversations with each individual player and saying, look, here's your role on the team. Here's what we need you to do on Saturday night. Don't worry about anything else, but you just go out. I don't want it. I mean, do your job, your job, but that's kind of, you know, that's kind of his mentality. You do your job and as long as you, as long as you complete one out of 11 and then everybody else completes their one out of 11, we'll be 11 out of 11 and we'll be

Bobby:

fine. Sure. That's awesome. That's terrific. And now I guess the real question is, is, is he going to be able to bring home that the MOS cup one of these days? I mean, we thought this was going to be the year and then we met NYC FC and the playoffs and

Bento:

oh my God. I was at that game. I wanted to kill myself. So

Jeff:

it felt like it's definitely felt like the stars were aligning last year and with the way that regular season went. And then I was

Bobby:

so confident going into the. I was like NYC, FC. Yeah. They're good. But no more Villa. We

Jeff:

should squeeze this out. Yeah. I mean the way, yeah, the way things lined up in the playoffs and you knew obviously the players weren't looking ahead, but as, as a staff member and I'm sure I support as you kind of start to look ahead a little bit and you're like, and like, it would have been Philly in the Eastern conference. Final and Philly had like nine players out with the COVID protocol. So you're basically playing Philly second team and Eastern conference final. And then your host in Portland, in the MLS cup final. And like the road was there for them to go out and get it done. And there, there really was a sense, like internally talking with guys, even before that New York city FC game, like guys were saying. Like, this is, this is going to be the toughest game in New York city. FC is going to be the best team we face in the place where we can get through New York city FC. We think we got a

Bento:

shot, biggest hadn't MYFC as still as a favorites, even when the wing was going through that huge run, which was incredible. And they knew something that we didn't.

Jeff:

Yeah, it was, that was a good team. And they started to put it together at the right time. And when you gotta, when you got a guy like Valentin, Customhouse leading the lineup top scoring goals, like you're always going to give yourself a shot. Right. But you know, it's, it's, it's kind of weird thinking back to that game and you think, oh man, like the Rez and they blew it, right? Like you had you set the single season points record, you've got home field advantage in the playoffs. You're you're hosting in New York city FC team at Gillette stadium in front of a huge crowd, like it's right there. And then I'm like, w it was it Pally shootout, right? Like it's, it's a coin flip when you're going into a penalty shooter like that. And you've got Matt Turner and goal. Are you thinking, are you thinking they're going to beat Matt Turner on all five penalties? Hell no, man. I didn't think they were going to sprawl five, their penalties. So it was a, if, if one or two penalties go a different way and that penalty shootout and the reps are hosting Philly in the Eastern garments vinyl. And maybe we're not having this conversation. Cause maybe they finally got that trophy, but it does look, it does feel like a, it feels like there's an opportunity slipped away last year. Right.

Bento:

So it's all the time. It's like, it's, it's like, we're like the Buffalo bills of the MLS. Like we got to win one here. What do you think of the playoff system? Cause I absolutely hate it. I've always had. Having a playoff is basically whatever team is on fire at the time, you know, playing well don't don't have injuries because they just went through a full season. I don't think it, it penalizes who the best team in the league is.

Jeff:

Yeah. I would agree that a playoff system and that's not just for soccer. I mean, that's obviously any, any sport that has a playoff system, like is, is the best team in the NHL always lifting in the Stanley cup. Maybe not now, granted you've got seven game series in the NHL. It's a little bit of a longer road, so there's less of an opportunity for one game to slip up. But yeah, I think you can absolutely make an argument that MLS cup does not, does not always if ever reward the best team in major league soccer that year, but also you can make an argument that does the supporters. Necessarily represent the best team because you're playing, you know, unless you're playing a fully balanced schedule, it's tough to really judge supporters' shield as well. And I just think it's, it's so inherently American, every

Bobby:

club,

Jeff:

only a couple of years or two years, I think it was 2010, 2011, where there were actual bounce schedules. Every team in the league played every other team in the lead home and away the way it is in most other leagues around the world teams in the league, the league is too big. It would be too much travel. There'd be too many games. You can't do it. So you end up with these unbalanced schedules. So then judging, you know, is the supporter shield really indicative of who the best team was? Like? I think the supporters' shield probably tells you who was a better team that season, then MLS cup does, but both of them have their have their flaws. Right. But playoffs are just so inherently American. I don't think you're gonna be able to get rid of, I don't think you're ever going to be able to say and major league soccer, we're going to play a 34 game season. And at the end of that season, We're going to crown a champion. Who's at the top of the standings and that's that the season is going to be over it. It works in other leagues around the world because that's the way that it's always been. And occasionally you get a final day, like they had in the premier league this year, where it actually comes down to the final day and you've got some excitement, but a lot of times you don't and I don't, I just don't think that's going to work with an American audience. I think you, I think you have to have a playoff system. I think there's huge value beyond. It's fun. It's exciting. But yeah, they've probably doesn't tell you who the best team they

Bento:

haven't put playoffs in NASCAR.

Bobby:

Well, especially, especially for the MLS, you know, trying to catch up to some of these bigger leagues across the world. I do feel like the playoff system is useful for them, for the marketing aspect of it, because now you get the ability to showcase these games on national television with a lot more media attention on them. So I do feel like it's a good opportunity for some of these clubs to, you know, or the league in general to get a little more publicity and airtime and things like that. Whereas if the season just did end.

Jeff:

Well, and that, and that's one of the major reasons. I think why they went to a one-off playoff system for a long time, they were doing at one point, the league was doing three game playoff series where it's high, and then you'd get a certain amount of points. And it was like first to five points in a three game series. And then they went to, you know, home and away aggregate score. But even that with an American fan base in a semi-final where say, you know, you win the first leg, three nail, you lose the second, like to nail, and then you lose the game to nail and you're celebrating. Cause you're going to, you won the championship in something that's going on here. And like that's for people who follow soccer, it's a pretty simple concept. But for a lot of people who are just kind of tuning in and it's like, whoa, what is going on? We don't get this. So the league was like, look, we, we want these games to be one-off we don't, we don't want to make it convoluted. We want to be able to tell people, look, tune in this time on this. Two teams are going to take the field one, team's going to win and move on. And that's it. And that, that kind of draws more

Bento:

eyeballs. It is amazing to see how the MLS has evolved over the years. You know, I always think back to the half field penalty shots, I can't even believe we used to do that. And

Jeff:

it's amazing, honestly, though, like what's, what's funny is, you know, I feel like those, those videos get circulated all the time to show on like the 35 yard penalty shootout and everybody jokes about like how ridiculous MLS used to be. But then you hear from a lot of, a lot of, a lot of European players. I don't, I think, I can't remember exactly who it was, who came out and talked about it. Like some, some like old German legend who came out was like, yeah, this will be way better than a penalty shootout. The way that we do it now, this would actually be more soccer than standing 12 yards out the spot and hitting a penalty like soccer. I think you feel like that way of doing a penalty shootout would actually be a little bit more indicative of. Of soccer, but at the same time, like it does, because MLS was the only, the only one to do that. Like, it's got this connotation of being like absolutely ridiculous. Right,

Bobby:

right. But I, I like the idea of mols doing things like that. Like you're a young league, now's the time to experiment. Like when, when you've been around for a hundred years, you're going to have a lot more trouble changing things.

Bento:

Oh

Jeff:

yeah, of course. And there was some stuff that they got wrong from the start. I think they had the clock counting down cause they felt like, well, that's the, what you need, you know, for Americans to understand what's happening, the clock is countdown. It used to run out in the game, used to be over and pretty quickly they realized like, that's, it doesn't work in soccer. We've got to do that. You know, we need to get a little bit more on the world level here in terms of, we need to align ourselves with the rules of the game internationally. But I'll be honest. I know maybe, maybe I'm in the minority, the bet 35 yard run up penalty shootout, man, I would, I would watch was if we did those instead of regular penalty shootout, I would be all in on the Albi watching that

Bento:

mean you make a good point. It's just not traditional. It just seems, you know, it seems like you said, you know, hundreds of years of tradition, do you think we're ever going to see a promotion relegation system?

Jeff:

Very unlikely. I don't think it's going to happen in, in my lifetime. And hopefully I've got a few years left on the planet. I, I mean, I think one of the major hurdles right now is, I mean, the expansion fees for these teams coming into the league right now. I mean, there's just no way that you can ask a team to pay hundreds of millions of dollars and build the infrastructure that they're building and then tell them. And by the way, if you have a bad first couple of years, like soccer anymore, you're going to be in a lower division. Like you're just, there's no way you would get the investment from those new clubs. And that investment from those new clubs has been so important for the league. And I get it. I get it from a competitive standpoint. People saying, well, that promotion relegation can be a part of what really drives players to perform on a, on a weekly basis because you have something to play for. That's, that's more than just, you know, at the end of the season, you know, when you're 17, 18 place, you're not just running out the clock, you know, you're

Bobby:

playing with your leg, trying to get

Jeff:

a better draft pick. Like I get it, like in, in European leagues, the relegation battle is a lot of times, way more exciting than the battle for, for a title for sure. But I think, I think we're a long way off from promotion relegation in the U S for for a lot of reasons. And I think that primary one is just because the investment that you're going to be asking for, from teams coming into this league to, to N to then say you might not be an MLS team for that long that's, that's a real tough sell.

Bobby:

Yeah. Well, no problem with it. Look at new castle, look at your new castle, right? They come in. There was a good chance that they got relegated this year and they were lucky to hang on. I mean, it, it is a real situation though. And I think that, you know, yeah, as an American owner or an owner, really anything, right. Obviously you want to be able to protect your investment as much as possible, but in the same sense by doing promotion relegation, aren't you giving others the opportunity to reap more reward on their investment? Like, so I that's where I feel like the money still equates because you're still going to find someone to build, to start a team.

Bento:

I think the problem it's true though, that you think about it this way. Like, you know, if you're in the premier league, you get bumped down to championship league. Very popular and respected league. I mean, if you get bumped down to what USL or NASL, I mean, you're looking at like minor league baseball attendance, it's, you know, it's not sellout, it's not popular. You're not getting there's no TV rights. So I think that's a problem too. Like you said, they come and invest hundreds of millions of dollars. And next thing you know, they got a stadium full of a hundred people.

Jeff:

Yeah. Well, and, and too, I mean, you think about, well, who's, who's going to be coming up from the second division. Is it, are you having an MLS team pay this exorbitant fee to become an MLS team and build this beautiful stadium and do all this stuff to be a major league soccer, they get relegated. And now you've got a second division team. Who didn't pay a fee to get into major league soccer and they get relegation all of a sudden. Now they're an MLS team. Well, what, what the hell? You know, we paid all this money to get into the league and they didn't pay that fee, but now they're going to jump us and like, there's just, oh yeah, there's a million different logistical considerations that I think would prevent as soon as you had promotion relegation. I just don't, you're just not getting the investment from ownership groups that you're getting right now. And I think that that investment money for most ownership groups and the stadiums that they're building and the money they're pouring into those things is so vital to the league that I just think you couldn't

Bento:

do it right now. Over-saturated too many teams coming in the league.

Jeff:

It's definitely feels like it's getting to that where. You know, they've said, they've said so many times. I mean, when I started in a league, there were 15 teams in the league. Yeah. The leads doubled in size just in the time that I've worked in the league. And I said, well, we want to get to 24. And they said, we want to get to 26. I want to get to 28. Now we're going to get to 30. And it's like, as long as these as long as these ownership groups in these cities are willing to spend the money and are showing that they have the infrastructure and the fan base to support. I think they're going to keep opening the doors to these teams, but then you have to, you have to start considering, well, if you start getting to 30, 30, 2 34 teams, you know, you'll be splitting this up into two different conferences and then you're only planning your, is it going to become a little bit more like baseball? We're almost playing like inter conference games for the most part. And then maybe you're just meeting up for a championship game at the end of the year. Like you're

Bobby:

going to get to the 0.2

Jeff:

separately with so many teams in the league. It would, it would be, yeah, it would just be tough even now. Cause they've, they've moved away from the schedule the way it used to be. When I started, we used to make like six west coast trips a year, we would go play LA San Jose, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, you would go play road games against all those teams. They've already done away with all that where you're only playing now that you play four road games against Western conference teams. So the more and more they expand the league the more and more they would have to continue considering, you know, Making smaller, the group of teams with which you actually kind of compete

Bobby:

against. Right. Because especially you don't, especially being in the states and locations of many of these cities, you don't have the option to expand season one way or the other either cause already cold.

Jeff:

Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And we're already playing what I mean playing 10, 11 months a year as it is. I think the off season, our, our off season, this past year from late November with the playoff loss to when pre-season began with six weeks, literally players leave the players come back with was six weeks. There's no room and that's, that's not long enough. It's probably needed a little bit longer

Bento:

than that. Yeah. Plus to do an international breaks and world cup and everything. God nevermind. If you want to play contemplating CONCACAF champions league a lot of these teams now, which is nice to see, but it just adds even more games to the schedule.

Bobby:

Yeah, I can't imagine adding more games, like you said, you would certainly have to find another way to split things because adding more games and that's the other thing about, you know, promotion relegation, right? You would never be able to do promotion and relegation unless it was that perfectly balanced schedule and that's just not attainable.

Jeff:

No, not anymore. And it was the only reason it was attainable when they did it was because there were like, there were 18 teams in the league. So you're able to play a 34 game schedule, 17 home games, 17 road games. You play every other team in the league, home and away, and you actually get a balanced, a balanced schedule. I think what's funny is one and one of those years, the one of the only two years they had the balanced schedule. I'm pretty sure. Well, it was 2011. I think Bruce's galaxy won the supporter shield that year. So like one of the only years that actually had a real balanced schedule where you consider, you know, the supporter shield really 100% said, yeah, you could, you could say without a doubt, it said who the best team was. I think one of those was Bruce's team

Bento:

got, I mean, if we get the 40 teams, we could have two leagues and snap for our show relegation just with the MLS.

Jeff:

Yeah. I guess that's the only way that made, maybe you end up with promotion or if you literally expand the league so much that you can break it into two. I got, I think

Bento:

you're right on the lake. David ever got that big, it'd be a situation where you have conferences and things like that. Cause you figure just travel logistics alone. Like you said, you know, you're in England, they're the size of, you know, states bigger than them, you know? So travel is easy, you know, over here you're talking seven, eight hour flight from one coast to the other. Yeah.

Bobby:

Yeah, no way. So in terms of the infrastructure and stuff, I know that, you know, especially as a new England fan we've been waiting for that stadium for a long, long time. And I was lucky enough to go down to Houston and check out their stadium when it was relatively new. And, and some of these facilities just got to building are unbelievable, and it's so great to see that they are getting soccer, dedicated facilities as well. And then I love all of those things. But you know, the question remains is when is the England going to get there is right. Are we were the last one in the, in the league to not have a dedicated place?

Jeff:

Yeah. New York city FC plan everybody kind of comes back to

Bento:

her. Wow. It's really only those two. I didn't realize it was.

Jeff:

And like, I completely understand it and I it's going to just upset people cause like I'm gonna, I'm going to strip the company line, which is literally it's everything that I know. Right. It's literally the company line. And I can tell people from working within the organization, That club wants to build a soccer specific stadium in the Boston area. And there has been a ton of work and a ton of resources put into scouting locations and, you know, stadium designs and all of this logistical stuff to try to get that done. And I know people have heard all of this and, and look, the fact is people don't, people don't want to hear it until there's a shovel in the ground. And, and I, I completely 100% understand that, which is why I almost feel bad, even kind of just repeating the same thing that people have heard over and over again. Because obviously I, you know, I've been a fan since the league started too. So like I've kind of heard the same thing. But there, there has been, there has been a lot of work put in behind the scenes. I don't have anything to do with it, so I, nobody tells me any. Thanks. Thankfully from the club's

Bento:

perspective, I mean, I'll be honest if they ended up moving to Boston, I'm probably going to come to significantly less games than I do now.

Jeff:

And, and, and that's, that's kind of under discussed,

Bento:

right? Like what island, like I don't

Jeff:

do Boston. And I think I, and I think there's an understanding of that, right? Like that it's not moving to Boston would not be the ideal situation for every single revolution, but it would be a better situation and a lot of ways for the club. So it's, it's unfortunately kind of

Bento:

that they'll gain way more visitors and they're going to lose because of that, you know, so for sure. I remember, I remember years ago they were talking about bringing it to Providence and I was super excited about that, but that never came to

Jeff:

fruition either. Yeah. And there was a, I think it was 2017, I think when, when the club got so close and the deal fell through that, the team actually ended up releasing a bunch of renderings of what the stadium was going to look like. It was supposed to be. Along the water and the old Bayside expo center spot. And I think that like, as close as that got for the club and then release the renderings and say, look, this was like, we were really close on this. I knew nothing about, wow. So that's, that's usually when people are like, what's the deal with the stadium? I'm like, I can plead ignorance and not be lying at all because as close as they got with that Bayside expo center spot, I was completely in the dark,

Bento:

the spot for a stadium. Like, see, now they are because as soon as you hit Boston, you take that exit and you're right there. So I totally would've went there. I used to love going to the Bayside expo center. Yeah. Too bad. I mean, honestly, I can be playing in way worse stadiums in July. I mean, that's not the

Bobby:

worst place to play in. And so that was going to be my question, right? I mean, obviously we've seen these themes to help beautiful. They are, but in terms of what the club needs and the facilities for the actual players and coaches and staff, I mean, is there a big difference between playing at a Gillette and playing at a soccer specific

Jeff:

stadium? Well, all of the day-to-day stuff. So in 2019, the club built a $35 million training. So all of the day-to-day work that the players are doing Monday through Friday training session. Film work in the weight room, all of that type of stuff is being done out of an actual brand new

Bento:

state-of-the-art facility. That place, that place is

Jeff:

amazing. One of the top facilities in the league. So all of that is it's out in the back of, back of the woods. We you're kind of all isolated in the back, so that's fantastic. Yeah. In, in the stadium, you know, the reps have, they have their own locker room, which is like any other locker room in, in major league soccer. Maybe not as, quite as decked out as something like one of the brand new soccer specific stadium. But they're only, they're literally only in the stadium facilities, you know, on Saturday nights to play a game, basically. And like the fact is, yeah, it's not, it's not where the club wants to be ultimately, but there is a huge home field advantage to be here. Playing at Gillette and playing on that surface and playing on a surface that other teams are going to be unfamiliar with so that the reps can kind of get themselves acclimated to it. And it's tough for teams to come into that building and play there. So yeah, make the best of it. And I think the reds have done it. They've been very good at home for the past few years. A part of that, part of that is down to the home field advantage of playing at Gillette.

Bobby:

Yeah. And that's our big, and that's the thing too. Cause I mean, you know, for, for us as fans, like we go to Gillette and I, you know, we get good seats, it looks good. You know what I mean? Like, I don't think we're missing anything by not having a soccer specific stadium. And so that's why, you know, knowing that they just built that facility too. I'm sitting here thinking like, well, I'm sure the revs aren't losing anything either. And that's why, you know, I bother building that.

Bento:

Bobby, you're breaking up.

Bobby:

I lost you a little bit, but is there a real advantage?

Bento:

Yeah. Bobby, the whole question

Bobby:

you were. Oh, sorry about that. Yeah. Sorry about that. Okay. Now I

Bento:

think you're good now you've ruined the whole podcast. That's it?

Bobby:

Sorry about that. Yeah. I was saying, you know, we've seen games in July. We'd like it there, you know, if, if you know, I don't mind going there, the players don't really, it doesn't really affect them. Why bother spending the millions upon millions upon millions of dollars to build that stadium? If there's no real advantage to it.

Jeff:

How have you, how many soccer specific stadiums around the country have you been to, to like, to see games? Have you experienced kind of the atmosphere and some of the brand new buildings?

Bobby:

Like I said, I went to the Houston, the Houston one. I mean, I've been to an field in Liverpool. I mean, I've been to some stadiums, but for me it's nice, but it's not a necessary. Things like

Bento:

that money invested in the team and the players in the cup.

Jeff:

I think the man, I think, I think the atmosphere, I think it's, I think want a new office. Yeah, no, because we built the training center, my office and the training center training in Foxborough, Monday through Friday stadium for the game. I think a lot of it too, is the location, right? Like being beating in Boston proper or within city limits. That's a massive difference from playing out in Foxborough. You know, if you can be on public transportation that opens you up to a whole new world that the reds have never really been able to tap into. So I think the location is a massive part of it. But I do think with, with all of these stadiums and all of these these facilities that are in the atmospheres that are being built and created around the sleek. I think there is, I think there is something pretty significant to be gained just in terms of the feeling within the building and what that, what that does for the supporters groups and what that does for the fan base and what it does for the players. Like I really think, I think there's a significant enough difference there, but to your point, if, if there, if that's not a consideration, I think the location is still enough of a consideration and that's why the reps haven't built a soccer specific stadium. In fact, Yeah. Why don't you just go across the street and build a soccer specific is because that's not, what's the difference, basically. It was basically the location is the really big thing. And that's why it's been so difficult to get done is because you're trying to build a stadium in Boston, which hasn't been, it hasn't been a stadium built in Boston since what then outdoor stadium, since Fenway, I think

Bento:

there's no real room,

Jeff:

so it's tough, but like, that's, that's what they're dealing with and that's why it's taken this long. And that's why they're so steadfast in saying, look, we're not, we're not going to build it somewhere else. It's going to be in Boston or nowhere. Yeah. The location is kind of everything.

Bobby:

Oh, that makes a lot more sense. Actually. I hadn't really thought about it like that, but yeah, God even just, just that alone, the access to public transportation of Boston, like holy smokes, you're talking about over a million people that can not. Without a vehicle. Yeah. I think it would make a massive difference. Yeah. Yeah. That's unreal. Unreal. In terms of MLS, right? So when we look at clubs across the world versus the MLS structure, right? So for instance, Matt, Turner's leaving and we know that he got sold for a chunk of change. And so immediately my mind is like sweet doing. That's going to be able to use that money to bring in new players. But that's not exactly realistic,

Jeff:

isn't it? Yeah. So I'll be honest. It's a lot of, a lot of the regulations are so convoluted that it's almost like an internal joke within a lot of the clubs that like, I couldn't explain to you exactly how MLS rosters are constructed. And when a team sells a player, how much of that transfer fee goes to the league? How much of that transfer fee goes to the club? Like, I, I honestly don't even know.

Bento:

sorry to bother you. Remember that flow chart you sent me and it was like, the MLS player gets transferred. And I mean, this thing was like the two pages side by side. So many different options like it, me and my eyes cross. And I was like, I don't know, how do you train an employee in the MLS? Even learn this? Like, you need a law degree. I've seen law books that were easier

Jeff:

to read. Yeah. Yeah. So it's, it's pretty convoluted. But like the fact is regardless of, of whether it's every single person. Yeah. When you, when you are selling a player for a transfer fee, like a chunk of that money, at least is coming into the club and can be used in so many different ways that money can be used to, to go into the academy and build up the academy infrastructure because the academy is fully funded. So you need money to fund that academy and pay for everything that goes into the academy system. You can use that money in your training center. You can use that money for, you know, more transfer fees to go out and buy players from other like in it. And again, I don't know exactly. It's not necessarily dollar for dollar the rev, this player for X money and you get X money in, and then you can just use that on another transfer fee. Like I it's a little bit more convoluted. Yeah. I'm sure. Why does that? No, I don't think anyone knows why I'm choosing to do anything.

Bobby:

The only thing I've heard on that is that because back when they had clubs that were going under, it was a way to control you know, people hurting them. Yeah, don't go out and sign this X superstar for X crazy contract that then it's going to come back to bite you in the butt then doesn't it. Well, it doesn't look good for the league when a team full.

Jeff:

Sure. And I think that was a. Yeah, that was some of the lessons learned from some of the previous iterations of the American soccer leagues and, you know, and then leaves the, the did fold because there was probably some overspending and it's been a really slow burn at MLS to even get to the point they're at now where they had the spending for a long time was super restrictive, like completely restrictive to guard against teams, spending too much money and putting themselves in position where they would then ultimately go under. Then you have David Beckham coming into the league and the league changed the rules and created the designated player rule because they saw an opportunity and said, we have to figure out a way to get David Beckham into this league, which was the right move for them. That was, that was the right move. And then the designated player rule has evolved from there where, okay. Now it's not just one designated player, it's three designated players. And then they started adding in targeted allocation money, figuring out all these other ways that you could pay players over the maximum salary. And I.

Bobby:

Yeah. That's where the convolution really. But

Jeff:

he, but even now, right? Like there is a salary, they don't call it a cap. They call it a salary budget because it's sort of malleable in the way that you can use allocation money and and the way you can spend on DPS and things, but it's not just a free for all right now, you know, the revs can't go out and say, well, we have all the money in the world and we wanna, we want to bring in 25, $20 million players. Can't do it. It's there, there is still very restrictive. Well, no, Roger, you can only have, yeah, you've, you've got teams have three designated player spots who you can spend your own money, however much money you want in, in the world on those three players. But other than that, Yeah. Other than that, the rest of your roster is restricted. How much money you can

Bobby:

spend

Bento:

on those? Yeah. So I was wondering how guys like Macquarie and like, you know, Messi supposed to become in Miami. So I was just curious how they're able to afford those players with a salary cap. Cause obviously those players are asking for, you know, it doesn't be

Bobby:

contracts, so they fall into a deep,

Jeff:

yeah, basically it, because it's a single entity league, technically all the players are MLS employee. So like it's even different. Like even in our HR departments, like staff reports to you craft HR players report to MLS HR because they are adolescents. So we're technically not even really coworkers in an official sense, right. Technically work for D your paychecks come from different organizations. Right. So there's, yeah, there's a little bit of a separation there. So the, the salaries, like the player salaries actually come from. The league in essence, but then those three DPS that you can pay above and beyond anything in terms of the salary budget, that's, that's out of your own pocket, you know, like owners can say, okay, well, we're going to, we want to pay this player 7 million and you know, 1.5 million or whatever it is, whatever the max is, is going to come from the league budget. But then we're going to pay him five and a half million of our own money to fill out the rest of the salary. You can do that with a few players, but you can't do that with your whole roster.

Bobby:

Sure. What do you think about the DPS you come over from Europe or other places? I know like bento and I, for instance, we've gone back and forth on this a bunch of times, you know, where obviously like MSCI is one of the always rumored, right? Yeah. Hell yeah. I want MSCI in the league. It'd be great to go see him. I would most certainly buy that ticket. And I believe tons of fans out there. One great example too. There's a lot of time. Great example, but I feel like I've also heard people like joke about MLS being like the retirement.

Jeff:

So I think the league is moving away from that perception, which is a good thing. And that perception, that perception was probably well earned in some of those instances. I mean, there were, there were specific players that people could point to at players who were pretty clearly coming over here to pick up one last paycheck and live in the states and just, yeah, I mean, Andrea peer lo is a player really famous flipper peer low standing on the post, guarding a corner. And it's against the reds. Kellen row comes flying into the near post heads, home a corner and Peerless literally just kind of like leaning up against the post, just like kind of here. And I mean, Andrea pillow was, he was one of the best person in the world, but when he came to MLS, he was done. He wasn't here to compete usually to, you know, it seemed like he was here to pick up a paycheck and live in New York city. And who would blame him when given that opportunity. But the league is at a point at one point, I think the league felt like they needed to bring in those types of guys and say from a competitive standpoint on the field, it doesn't matter as much what this guy can give you. As opposed to being able to say this guy's on our team. Come out and see him on Saturday night, but he's in where like, people, people picked up on it. Like it didn't trick people and people would come out and see these guys. And they'd be like that. Guy's not even, you know, that that guy should be retired. What's he doing? He's not even hostile. Like people, people aren't dumb. Like people figure that out. And teams started to use those DP spots in a lot different ways. And yeah, there are always going to be exceptions LATAN who could still tear the league apart. There's a draw just on name alone. That guy was

Bento:

perfect. It's a no brainer. And just to have like those young players and other inexperienced players be around him, like Bobby and I were just talking about this before you came on, like, you know, we talk about Manchester United, how that kid along, he gets to play alongside Rinaldo. I mean, T talk about the best training you're ever going to get. You know what I mean? So it's good for the week too.

Jeff:

And for the players. Yeah. But now you're seeing, and that was sort of when the DP rule was created, that was kind of how it seemed like teams thought that's how you had to use it. That was certainly the Red's perspective for a long time was we're not going to use a DP spot solely on a player. Who's going to come in. And help us on the field. Yeah. Also needs to be a player is going to help us with the box office. Someone who's going to sell tickets based on name alone. And that was, that was the case for a long time, but it's not the case anymore. And teams are starting to use those DP spots. One, a lot of times to buy younger players who they know that they can develop for a couple of years and then sell on for, for big fees. Or you're seeing guys come in like Carlos. Yeah. He came into the ribs at like 26, 27 years old, just for whatever reason, couldn't find his footing in Europe. I mean, and clearly an unbelievably talented player. Absolutely. We, the revs went out and said, look, this isn't, this, isn't a name guy. You know, the people aren't gonna come out and buy a revolution ticket just because they go, oh my God, Carlos, he was Carlos. He was at the time, but they knew that this guy could come in and be a game changer. He did goes on to win league MVP. And now all of a sudden you've got a guy who you can sell on name recognition and Carla steel, but he wasn't that guy when the red is when the Rez went out and got him a couple of years ago. So if

Bento:

you have, if you have a player as a designated player, right, that you're paying whatever extra and you transfer that player, does the MLS still take a chunk of that money? Or do you also get that extra money as well?

Jeff:

I'm sorry. I don't know what you mean in terms of like the, so in terms of the DP salary like that wouldn't be factored in. 'cause like, that's what

Bobby:

you're paying.

Bento:

What about the sale of the player? Like it's doing a revolution to a cell Carlos hill, does a revolution get the majority of that money because that's their designated

Jeff:

player. Yeah. I mean, no matter who, no matter whether they're a designated player or whether they're on the supplemental roster or just the regular roster, like you, you sell a player, you're getting, you know,

Bento:

you

Jeff:

get all of it or the motor. I'm pretty sure you're getting most of that. Most of that fee. Okay. Yeah, w it wouldn't matter kind of what your, what your roster designation was. And then, and then what's big now obviously is especially when you're selling younger players is sell on fees. Right? So, like, I don't know the exact terms. But I would imagine like when the rep said, Tayshaun Buchanan to club Rouge. You, you sell him for a certain amount of money and then you get that transfer fee in hand at that moment, but then you can also negotiate as part of the deal. Okay. Well, this is a young player who we know is still developing. We think club bruise is eventually going to sell this player to a bigger European team for even more money. So when you do that, You got to give us 10% of that money. So I don't know exactly what the I'm assuming that there was a sell on fee negotiated stage on, on exactly what the figure was, but I'm sure that as part of that deal, it was probably a sell on fee negotiated so that whenever Tayshaun moves on from club Rouge and get sold for even more money, a little bit of that money is coming back to the.

Bento:

I love those deals like that too. Like eating is, I went to every, on Madrid and Chelsea to this day, like, cause they won the champions league. Real Madrid has to give them, I don't know how many millions, but with Liverpool, with Pitino, like he's on his second team since he's left Liverpool and Liverpool is still

Bobby:

getting money

Bento:

from money. Yeah.

Jeff:

It's amazing. I was in baseball, Bob, Bobby Binya you had that contract every July 1st until like 2040 Bobby, Bobby, just get.

Bobby:

That's right. I forgot all about that guy. Yeah. He got hurt or something like that. He never played for the team and they got to pay him for 20 years. Ridiculous money or something. Crazy.

Jeff:

Gets a million bucks every year. Yeah. It's a good deal. I'm going to try to work that into my next contract talks. I'll tell

Bento:

crap. Yeah,

Bobby:

I will. I will tell you too, Jeff. You know, I, I certainly, you know, in my revolution football, manager's safe. I got a healthy 20% sell on for T John. All

Jeff:

right. Well, I'll get you. I'll get you on the phone. Well, I'm back in the office. We'll get you on the phone with with some of the

Bobby:

decision-makers. Yeah. Hi, my football manager skills is coming clutch. I'm sure. Yeah. Bobby's all

Bento:

about, I'm a FIFA guy, but Bobby's all about that football man. Oh,

Jeff:

yeah, people love it, man.

Bento:

I always joke going, I call it email manager.

Jeff:

It was like one year where I was in the football manager for a little bit. And I was really one of those things. I was like really into it for like a year. I just can't get back into it.

Bobby:

It's a spreadsheet. I mean, it's a spreadsheet game, you know what I mean? Those things where, you know, like late at night sitting there watching TV, it's a nightmare. It's the last thing you want to pick up? Right? Jeff, before I let you go, though in, in talking about, you know, how you get the highlight players and things like that, is there a specific player throughout your time with the revolution that sticks out in your mind as having like a great story?

Jeff:

Oh man. I mean, it's gonna, it's gonna sound cliche right now. No, but no, but I mean, honestly, I don't think I've come across anybody who had the story that, that Matt Turner has, because I think the first time I heard his story really in depth was on the far post podcast, the podcast that we do for the revs. And I don't think I'd heard his story until he kind of told us, I mean, Matt can, Matt Turner didn't replay soccer competitively until he was like 14, 15 years old. And he only started playing to stay in shape for. For baseball, like he was doing, he was just playing soccer because it was a sport in a season that he didn't have anything else going on. And he was a baseball player. That's what he wanted to do. We wanted to play baseball. That was his sport. And he went and started playing soccer, just stay in shape. And his first training session, he went and played out in the field. He was like, there's photos of me. He was like a little guy. He was not, he was not six foot three. He was not six foot four. He was like this little guy who just went out and was trying out for soccer to try to stay in shape. And their goalkeeper got hurt on the first day of practice. So he was like, oh, whatever. You know, my, my sister was a goalkeeper. She's got some gloves, I'll throw the gloves on and I'll tell him that I'll go play keeper on the second day of practice, just cause the first keeper got hurt. And that was when he was like 15 years old. Wow. Eight years later, he was playing professional soccer for the revolution.

Bobby:

He

Bento:

was the third.

Jeff:

He joined us. He wasn't even in the match day squad at all. Basically the first two years in the team was going to play in with the Richmond kickers in the USL, just trying to get professional experience. Wow. Started all of 2018 and then 2019 started Nina being back was the third string again at the beginning of the 2019 season. And then, I mean, the rise that he's had from then to go from, you know, third string goalkeeper, basically nobody had heard about this kid who was undrafted out of Fairfield university had absolutely no like no college offers. Nobody was interested. Wasn't on anybody's radar to have hit the milestones that he's hit. I mean, we thought it was incredible just that he made it to the, to the pros playing professional soccer in the fact that since he made his professional debut four years ago, he's become the best goalkeeper in major league soccer. One goalkeeper of the year, starting for the U S national teams got 12 shutouts in his 17 appearances with the us national team. He's going to be on the world cup roster. It's quite possible. He's gonna be a starter at a world cup. He's going to find that premier league like w

Bobby:

Y he better start in the world cup. I'm going to be so pissed and they start Zack Stephan over him. Not that, not that I don't love Zach Stephan. Sure. The last couple of us men's national team game. He has not played very well. And I have sat there the whole time thinking like, why

Bento:

Turner?

Jeff:

He just, he just doesn't, he doesn't give up goals. Right. And you can have all these conversations about how goalkeepers now in the modern game have to be able to play with the ball. I understand system, but one it's it's it's overblown in terms of. How that's a weakness to Matt Turner's game. It's not, it's not the biggest strength of his game, but that's in large part because the other strengths of his game are so off the charts that maybe his ability with the ball of his feet isn't at that level. But he's pretty damn good with the ball at his feet. There was a sequence last night in the game against Morocco where the U S builds out of the back and the ball comes to Turner three or four times in that sequence. And he's calm. He's picking the right pass. He's hitting the right, pass it. Matt Turners, Matt Turner is way better with the ball at his feet than people are willing to give her credit

Bento:

for. Yeah. He might have a little trouble on the familiar league though, with that just cause, you know, you really gotta be on your game over there with the ball, your feet.

Jeff:

And what he has said is that that's, that's one of the main reasons he wants to go play at arsenal is because on a daily basis in training and in games, he's going to have to be, he's going to have to be on top of his game in terms of playing out of the back, playing with the ball. And he feels like that's going to get him. That's going to get him ready for what he needs to do with the national team. Whenever he joins a better us, you can even take all of that out of the mix. Like take, take playing with the ball at your seat out of the mix. For me, I want you to goal, I want the goalkeeper to keep the ball of the back of the neck and nobody's doing that better than at Turner. He's one of the best shots stoppers

Bobby:

I've ever seen. Yeah. For sure. And just command his command on crosses and, and corner cakes and things like that is so good. Right. His decision making as to whether the goal, whether to stay, how far to go. It's unbelievable. His positioning.

Jeff:

Yeah. Yeah. I he's, he's gotten so much better improved in so many ways. So many areas of his game since he joined up with our lives in 2016. And then that's why there's no reason for me to believe that that that progression is going to stop when he goes to arsenal. I think he's just going to, he's going to train that environment every day and I think he's just going to continue getting better and better. And I mean, I really feel like they're, I'm not, I don't know what the, what the ceiling is on Matt Turner. It feels like it's. It's really, it's really freaking high. Well, it's cool too,

Bobby:

because like you said, he started late and what is he? 27 now. 27. Yeah. And so it's so cool as well, because you know, only going to England at 27, it's no big deal for a gold because gold is going to play a lot long too. So he's got a lot more years of development ahead of him

Jeff:

for a gold star for 27 primary.

Bobby:

Yeah. Yeah. That's terrific. Terrific. Good for him.

Bento:

Well, Jeff spent an hour. I don't want to take up too much of the time. I know you're probably busy guy. Really appreciate coming on God. I could sit here and do this for another two hours. Just talking football. We didn't, we barely even scratched the EPL. I, I love, I love that you already feel guy as well. So before you go, do you want to give a shout out? Anything you got going on? Any anything you

Jeff:

want to promote? Yeah. I'll just tell people to go to revolution soccer.net. As I know Rob's going to revolution. Sorry.

Bobby:

I appreciate it.

Jeff:

Yeah. So I mean, everything we're putting together. You know, we're, we're, we're trying to make sure that the club is telling the stories of these players and given that kind of inside behind the scenes access. And I feel like maybe people don't, people don't go to the club as a resource as much, because they feel like, well, you know, it's the club we need like outs and outside media, we need an independent media outlet to provide information. And I totally understand that there's a place there's certainly a place for, for outside media outlets or work that they can do. And they can talk about the club and way. I'm a clever employee that I can't necessarily talk about. Exactly. Do we do try to provide a level of access that you're not gonna be able to get anywhere. And some of that behind the scenes access and tell the player story. So I would encourage people to get to revolution soccer.net, follow all the revolution channel are all the revolution accounts on social media channels and pay attention to what we're doing. Cause you know, I think a lot of times people come to me with questions about like, well, you know, is this player injured or what's what's happening here? What's the deal with this story? When's this guy going to be ready? And I'm like, there's a story about that on revolution soccer,

Bento:

but, and become, and become a seasoned member too. Like you guys do an amazing job over there. She's a memberships. I like that. The value that I get as a seasoned member over there is incredible. The, you know, the account management, trading any tickets. It's, it's really good. You guys do a really good job over there of bringing people

Bobby:

in and keeping them it's awesome. Good for good for families. Good for friends. We've definitely shared all the kids and stuff before. It's a blast either way, and again, Jeff, thank you so much for taking the time. And we know you're a busy guy and come down to teach us a little bit about MLS and what you do there for the revolution. And w we, like I said, we couldn't thank you enough and go revs.

Jeff:

Yeah, no problem guys. Thanks for having me. Thanks,

Bento:

Jeff. Appreciate it. She was like, you know, fuck the podcast, the podcast fucks you. You

Bobby:

should have said,