The New England Revolution waived Colombian “striker” Jose “Pepe” Moreno Mora today. I’m generally not an “I told you so…” kind of guy- except, when in fact, I TOLD YOU SO!! Back in February the New England Revolution signed the Colombian on loan from Once Caldas in Colombia. Then thing got interesting- and not in a good way. I first frantically waived a red flag when the club signed him because, let’s face it, if he was that good of a striker he would not have switched clubs 11 times in 12 years before joining the Revolution. I was also just a wee bit concerned that this “forward” had only one double-digit goal scoring season (12 in 2005-2006) in his career, and that he had only scored a total of 21 goals since 2006. His average goal scoring “haul” during his career had been 4.42/season. Quite the sniper. His numbers were just as good for the Revolution- 1 goal in 7 matches.
Having been ignored the first time I called out club president Brian Bilello when it was revealed that despite what he said and despite what he signed, Moreno had changed his mind about coming to New England, been out of contact for days, played another match for Once (!), and, obviously because they put him on the field (during which he was INJURED, by the way!), being aided and abetted in his shenanigans by Once Caldas. And still the club pursued Moreno. Let me pause here and show you the press release that was sent out by the club to deal with this matter- the red highlighting is mine:
Supporters and fans:
Thank you for your continued patience as we work through the situation with Jose Moreno.
Both myself and the club have received numerous questions about the situation in the last 48 hours, and I wanted to offer a longer explanation than 140 characters or a Facebook post could relay since we understand that it seems like radio silence from us on the matter.
Like many of you also heard or read, we got reports from Colombia on Tuesday afternoon that quotes attributed to Jose had been published on their league’s website saying he had chosen to remain with Once Caldas instead of reporting to our team.
These reports surprised us because last week, Michael Burns traveled to Colombia and met personally with Jose and Once Caldas executives to sign the necessary paperwork to complete the loan deal. At that time, Jose signed his MLS contract, and both Jose and Once Caldas officials signed the loan agreement. With everything signed, we announced his signing last Wednesday once MLS received all of the documentation and approved the announcement.
On top of a signed contract and loan agreement being on file, Jose’s Visa approval and ITC transfer have already been initiated, as well.
This deal with Jose and Once Caldas was borne out of three separate trips to Colombia where our folks watched Jose play and met with him for several hours to discuss the move. Once the paperwork was signed last week, we believed he was on his way to joining us later this month for the end of preseason camp.
The biggest reason for the lack of a resolution or response on this issue has been our desire to speak to Jose directly about the reports. In the last day-and-a-half, we have not been able to connect with Jose, and right now that is our highest priority.
We still don’t know with certainty that the quotes attributed to him were in fact his, so if they are, we need to understand what he’s dealing with and where his feelings are coming from before we proceed and find some resolution on the matter.
Thank you again for your concern about Jose, and when we are able to provide a further update, we will.
The situation did not get better after the press release, so I gave it a third try. Moreno remained out of touch for five days, which has pretty much been inexcusable since the days of Samuel F.B. Morse. But no, rather than just suing the pants off Once Caldas, the Revolution “worked with them” and Moreno was eventually a late arrival during New England’s training camp. So, let’s total everything up once more- while under contract with New England from February 2 until today Moreno was on the bench for 10 matches, played in 7 of them, started 5 (all of which he was subbed out of), and came on twice as a substitute himself. Oh, right, and the one goal. This from a player who, in the words of the club president, was observed in Colombia three times by the club’s scouts (plural!) and on at least one occasion, general manager Mike Burns visited with Moreno in Colombia. I’m thinking the cost of those trips could have paid a younger, hungrier player the MLS minimum and whomever that was could not have done any worse than Moreno did- and with a lot less drama.
The good news is that even with Moreno gone, the two other Colombians the club signed are still on the rost- What? Oh, I see, defender John Lozano was waived on July 27 after making only two appearances. Well, there’s still Jose Cardenas- he’s been great, right? Five starts in 18 matches with one goal, you say?
I’ve thought of many ways to wrap up this post and I’ve come up with this, one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite bands (skip ahead to 1:55 if you’re pressed for time):
The keys lyrics, in case you missed them:
You want to burn your bridges
I’ll help you start the fire
You want to disappear
I’ve got the manual right here
You say you want my help
I can’t help myself
You say you want my help
I can’t help myself