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Tara Sullivan

The Revolution would rather ignore what they call the ‘noise’ and ‘baloney.’ It’s not that easy.

Revolution president Brian Bilello acknowledged it's been a “difficult few days and weeks for our club.”Nic Antaya for The Boston Globe/The Boston Globe

They just want to move on. Turn the page. Look forward to Saturday, to winning more soccer games, making the playoffs, eyeing an MLS Cup. Just ignore these past few weeks and focus on the future, where everything is bright once again.

Never mind the late-night announcement of the resignation of the Hall of Fame coach, forget the lengthy league investigation conducted in secrecy and cloaked in mystery, look away from the subsequent confusion that saw one interim coach replaced, two assistant coaches fired, and a new interim coach installed. The Revolution just want to move on.


As if it were that easy.

After a Zoom media session with team president Brian Bilello and technical director Curt Onalfo on Wednesday, the Revolution want us to believe the “difficult few days and weeks for our club” (Bilello’s words) are in the past now, best viewed as little more than “noise” and “baloney” (Onalfo’s words) to be pushed aside in favor of better days ahead.

“My side of the story is to make a very difficult situation into a great one, and we have that opportunity,” Onalfo said. “That’s what we’re thriving on.

“Can we, through all this noise and the stuff that none of us asked for, drive forward and make something out of it? That’s the message we’re telling our players. They are an incredible group of human beings.

“I’ll just tell you, watch out. They are incredibly united. It’s time to get out there and play. Stop talking about all the baloney. It is noise.

“We are focused on winning.”

In other words, don’t expect clarity on the original investigation that led to Bruce Arena’s Saturday night resignation over reported “insensitive and inappropriate” remarks. Don’t wait around for details of the long, strange events of Tuesday, when a series of emotionally draining morning meetings with players led to the removal of former Arena assistant Richie Williams from the interim coaching position, the firing of his assistants Shalrie Joseph and Dave van den Bergh, and the elevation of Revolution II coach Clint Peay to interim head coach of the Revolution.


They might try to speak all of that into existence, and surely it’s understandable to have such a desire to move on, but the mystery, lack of clarity, and overall absence of any transparency across these past weeks remain a disservice to fans, players, and the public alike.

As New England’s resident MLS team, one owned by the same Kraft family that owns the Patriots, the Revolution have long insisted they deserve similar sporting status to Boston’s resident Big Four in the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL. But that doesn’t just work for popularity and fun; it also demands similar accountability. So just as the Celtics had to wade through months of questions about Ime Udoka’s shocking departure, so too should the Revolution feel the pressure of what is going on with their team.

“I empathize with you, I empathize with our fans and with our players about that,” Bilello insisted. “The league conducted an investigation. I have faith in the league, faith in their process, and I understand their need for confidentiality, protecting the subject, the witnesses, the reporters. In terms of their investigation, I have to refer people to that.


“But I empathize with our fans and players and media about that … I was someone who had season tickets for this club. I try to have as good a relationship as I can have with our fans. In these complex matters, very formal investigations, there’s times where you can’t say things and times where you can’t share things you maybe wish you could share with players and the fan base.

“That’s a difficult position to be in, as someone who really values my relationship with fans, players, and staff. I’m not looking for sympathy, but it’s really hard for us, too. I absolutely understand their situation.”

Of course, the season does go on, resuming Saturday night at Colorado, with the Revolution looking to rediscover their stride. That’s the way it goes in sport. The beat goes on. But it’s far from business as usual.

While Onalfo said that this is the roster that will take the Revolution to the end of the season, nothing else feels so certain. Arena is gone; Williams has moved aside as he tries to figure out what role, if any, he’ll play in the club’s future; Joseph and van den Bergh are on the unemployment line. And nobody truly knows why.

But, Onalfo insisted, “the locker room is 100 percent focused on Colorado and on winning. This has all been a distraction on everybody. Nobody asked for this. We have pushed through it in a positive way. Our goal is to thrive. That’s the focus of the players and the staff. We’re trying to go to Colorado to get 3 points.


“End of story.”

As if it were that easy. But none of this is just noise. It’s not baloney, and it’s not some made-up story meant to be ignored. That’s how it goes in the big leagues.

Tara Sullivan is a Globe columnist. She can be reached at Follow her @Globe_Tara.