BOSTON (CBS) - Before the New England Revolution dominated the second leg of their aggregate goal series with the Columbus Crew and punched their ticket to the MLS Eastern Conference final, team owner and club president Jonathan Kraft joined 98.5 The Sports Hub's Johnston & Flynn Sunday morning for a discussion of all things Revs.
The impact that Jermaine Jones is having on the team cannot be overstated.
The U.S. Men's National Team member and World Cup star signed with New England in late August, and since that time -- including the postseason -- the Revs are 10-1-1, and climbed up in the standings to enter the playoffs as the no. 2 seed in the East.
Kraft spoke not only about Jones, but the team's young core as well.
"Jermaine has been a huge addition to the team. We've got a nucleus of just some unbelievable, young players who are all American. We really believe in building through the draft, and we had always said if we could get an impact player who could move the needle on and off the field then we would do it."
The 33-year-old Jones has provided something to the Revs that they were initially lacking, and now everyone is playing better because of his presence.
"I think we were really missing that veteran presence who could come in and in tight moments give us a sense of confidence and control. When Jermaine told MLS after the World Cup that he was interested in coming here, we thought he was the right type of guy and we heard from a bunch of people that he was exactly what we were looking for."
Perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the Jones signing has been Revs midfielder Lee Nguyen, who led MLS in game-winning goals (9) and was the team leader in goals (18) this past season.
Nguyen has played so well, in fact, that he's garnered serious consideration for league MVP. His 18 goals are the most of any American in MLS this season, and his MVP-caliber season has drawn the attention of Jurgen Klinsmann and the national team, according to Kraft.
"Since Jermaine has been here we've lost only one game. He's incredibly fun to watch. He's made the whole team better, but he's allowed Lee Nguyen -- who we're so lucky to have on our team and who just got called up to the national team for next week in Europe -- I think he's really allowed Lee Nguyen to show everything that he can do, both offensively and defensively. It's really helped solidify us."
Nguyen will be on the U.S. roster for friendlies against Colombia on November 14 in London and against the Republic of Ireland on November 18 in Dublin. The final roster for the two USMNT matches is expected to be announced Monday.
New England has a couple of weeks to prepare for their first showdown with the Red Bulls, with the first leg of the aggregate goal series set for Sunday, November 23 at Red Bull Arena (time TBD). The Revolution will host the second leg on November 29 at Gillette Stadium with a trip to the MLS Cup on the line.
Listen below for the full interview!
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