Adam Buksa seemed destined to set Revolution records this season. Instead, Buksa has established an off-field standard for the team, earning a transfer worth $10 million from RC Lens in France’s Ligue 1.
Buksa, 25, played his last game for the Revolution on May 21, extending his scoring streak to seven games in a 3-2 win over FC Cincinnati. Buksa, New England’s leading scorer with 11 goals in 13 games in all competitions, finalized the deal following a recent medical examination, according to an MLS source.
The Revolution acquired Buksa on a $4 million transfer from Pogon Sczcecin in Poland in 2020. Buksa quickly adjusted to the Revolution’s style of play, performing as a lone striker or in tandem with Gustavo Bou. He became one of the few MLS-based players to earn a call-up to Poland’s national team (five goals in seven appearances) and will join the team for games next month, likely leading to a place on the World Cup roster.
Buksa converted in his Gillette Stadium home debut, a 1-1 tie with the Chicago Fire, before the 2020 season was halted because of the pandemic. Buksa finished with seven goals in 28 games in all competitions in his first year with the Revolution and last year had 16 goals, tied for fifth in the league.
Buksa’s first two seasons with the Revolution ended with playoff defeats. In the 2020 Eastern Conference final, Buksa drilled a breakaway off the post in the first half of a 1-0 loss to the Columbus Crew and last year had his attempt saved in a penalty kicks defeat to New York City FC.
Listed at 6 feet 4 inches, Buksa presented a threat in the air and as a hold-up target man, playing with back to goal. But Buksa also displayed a soft touch and an ability to dribble past defenders, plus finishing ability with both feet; he totaled 15 goals leftfooted, seven rightfooted, plus 13 via headers for the Revolution.
Buksa began his seven-game scoring streak in a 2-1 win over Charlotte April 16 on the way to tying Wolde Harris’s team record, accomplished in 2000. Buksa finished 11th on the all-time Revolution list with 35 goals in 73 games.
With Lens, Buksa will join former Chicago Fire midfielder Przemyslaw Frankowski, also a member of Poland’s national team. Lens, founded in 1906, concluded last season with an eight-game unbeaten streak (5-0-3), finishing in seventh place with a 17-10-11 (62 points) record. The Ligue 1 season will begin Aug. 6.
The Revolution have accelerated their involvement in the transfer market since Bruce Arena was hired as sporting director/head coach in 2019. Arena spent a team-record $6.7 million on Bou, and in the last year sold midfielder Tajon Buchanan (Club Brugge, Belgium) and goalkeeper Matt Turner (Arsenal FC) for $7 million transfer fees.
Arena replaced Buchanan with Colombian winger Dylan Borrero ($4.5 million) from Atletico Mineiro and added goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic ($1 million) from Cuckaricki in Serbia. The acquisition of Buksa also sets a record for a Lens transfer purchase, according to the Transfermarkt website.
The Revolution were willing to sell Buksa partly because his contract expires in December 2023, making him a free agent who could move on without generating a transfer fee.
Arena is expected to utilize the Buksa transfer money to add a Designated Player, but it might not be a forward. Jozy Altidore was acquired from Toronto FC as insurance should Buksa depart, and Arena said he expects him to be near full speed by next month.
The Revolution (4-5-4, 16 points) resume league play with a visit to Sporting Kansas City Sunday.
Frank Dell'Apa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.