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New England Revolution

Revs coach Brad Friedel pleased with athletic draft picks Tajon Buchanan, DeJuan Jones

Team Predator's Tajon Buchanan, center, kicks the ball during a training session during the professional soccer MLS Player Combine Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (Phelan M. Ebenhack for the Orlando Sentinel)

The New England Revolution bolstered its attack Friday afternoon , selecting forward Tajon Buchanan and winger DeJuan Jones in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft in Chicago.

Buchanan, a sophomore out of Syracuse, is a Generation adidas player, meaning he will not count against New England’s salary budget, while Jones, a senior out of Michigan State, is being called a trademark speedster.

Both players are expected to fit well into Revolution coach Brad Friedel’s tactics, which are largely framed around a high press.

“[Buchanan] is very athletic, very skilled, especially on the ball, and can take players on one-on-one,” Friedel said in a conference call with reporters Friday. “[Jones] is an attacking player that can play quite a few different positions. We’re looking forward to getting both acclimated on the team in preseason.”

New England selected Buchanan and Jones with the ninth and 11th overall picks, respectively. The club also holds one pick in the second round (33rd overall), one in the third round (57th overall), and one in the fourth round (89th overall).

The Revolution were linked with a possible trade involving their two first-round picks, but Friedel said he and his staff weren’t interested.

“We were approached many times during the first round about our picks, but wanted to use both,” he said.

Buchanan recorded eight goals and four assists for Syracuse last season and was projected by many draft insiders to be a top-three pick. Jones had seven goals and six assists last season for Michigan State.

New England will stay in Chicago for the SuperDraft’s second round and then participate in rounds three and four via conference call. Preseason official begins on Jan. 21, with the Revolution gathering at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 25 before departing for Marbella, Spain, where they’ll face Shanghai Shenhua, Ostersunds, and Dynamo Kiev.

Friedel is prepared to assess his rookies in Spain and test his players against different playing styles, though he also stated that he is looking forward to the trip as team-building experience.  

“It’s an opportunity to get out of the country and get out of sight, for us to assimilate the team,” Friedel said. “It’s far more my own team than it was last year.”

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