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Revolution Notebook

Revolution sign left back Dejuan Jones to three-year contract extension

DeJuan Jones (left) has carved out a nice role for himself as the Revolution's starting left back.Josh Reynolds for The Boston Globe

The Revolution have made left back a priority in recent offseasons, acquiring Gabriel Somi, Edgar Castillo, Alexander Buttner, and Christian Mafla as projected starters over the last few years. All were left-footed, career left-side players. Instead, DeJuan Jones, who had never played the position before joining the Revolution, has emerged as the team’s No. 1 left back.

“My whole life I was always an attacking midfield or forward,” said Jones, who recently on Wednesday signed a three-year contract extension with the Revolution. “I became a defender when I got to the Revs. In the beginning it was tough, I was fighting it. I was doing my best, doing what was asked, but I would say the last two years I’ve embraced it. I like the defensive side of the game and finding ways to get into the attack. With my speed and stamina I can get forward and defend, as well.

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“I was new to the position and I had a feeling they would try to bring in someone else, for depth, at least, because you need at least two left backs. I’m always up for competition, and it’s always good to learn from these guys, see what they do, and how to improve my game a left back.”

DeJuan Jones signed a three-year contract extension with the Revolution.Jeff Dean/Associated Press

Jones, 24, a right-footer who played as a forward at Michigan State University, played on the right wing initially with the Revolution. He was inserted at left back as a fill-in, but he earned a starting position during his first season and has started the opener the last two years, totaling four goals in 69 games.

Jones drew motivation from former Vancouver Whitecaps star Alphonso Davies, who switched from forward to outside back with European giants Bayern Munich.

“He has speed and stamina and gets up and down,” Jones said of Davies. “Another thing I thought about was I played offense, so I know what’s tough for a defender, what to do to get past him. I know what to read as an offensive player.”

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After the Revolution were eliminated from the playoffs on penalty kicks against New York City FC, Jones said he took a week off and has resumed workouts in Lansing, Mich.

“I love the game so it’s hard for me to stay away too long,” Jones said. “In the offseason I have a chance to work on what I need to improve on. During the season there’s only so much you can do.”

Going continental

The Revolution will meet Cavaly AS of Haiti, in the opening round of the CONCACAF Champions League. The first leg of the matchup will be in Haiti between Feb. 15-17 and the return at Gillette Stadium Feb. 22-24, the winner advancing to the quarterfinals March 8-10 and March 15-17.

The Revolution earned a place in the competition by winning the MLS Supporters’ Shield with a league-record 22-5-7 (73 points) mark.

This will be the Revolution’s first meeting with a Haitian club. The Revolution qualified for the event in 2003, ‘06, and ‘08, compiling a 1-4-1 record against teams from Costa Rica (LD Alajuelense) and Trinidad & Tobago (Joe Public FC). First-round matchups were announced during a draw held in Miami Wednesday night.

2022 schedule set

Next season, the Revolution will play their first three games against Western Conference opponents, including their home opener against FC Dallas at Gillette Stadium on March 5. The Revolution open the season with a visit to the Portland Timbers on Feb. 26, followed by home games against FC Dallas and Real Salt Lake on March 12. Interconference play has been limited the last two seasons, and next year teams will play eight times against foes outside their conference.

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The Revolution could play as many as eight games in April, should they advance in the Champions League, and seven matches in May, which includes two US Open Cup dates.


Frank Dell'Apa can be reached at frankdellapa@gmail.com.