There has been a flurry of activity in the New England Revolution pre-season camp over the past 24-48 hours, so let’s catch up!
First, the club made an off the field move replacing last year’s television analyst Jeff Causey (former goalkeeper for the Revs and several other clubs) with former Revolution assistant coach and England international Paul Mariner. With apologies to Jeff Causey, this is a massive upgrade. If there was one word to describe Causey during his tenure it was “hesitant.” Play-by-play man Brad Feldman always seemed to be dragging each and every word out of Causey. Nice guy, just not a “t.v. guy.” Mariner, on the other hand, is much more at easy on camera has a wealth of experience to draw upon as both a top level player (35 England caps, almost 600 senior appearances) and a coach (collegiately in the U.S., in MLS, and in England), and perhaps most importantly, coached many of the players currently on Revolution roster and head coach Jay Heaps and should be able to give more insightful commentary than Causey was able to muster.
On the field the club said “good-bye” to one trialist- Belgian international forward Marivn Ogunjim- and welcomed another- Spanish/Basque midfielder Gorka Lorrea. Lorrea, now 29, played at every level of the Spanish national team through U23 and has spent time at Real Sociedad, Almeria, Levante, and Numancia- all but the latter being in La Liga when Larrea played for them. They are also looking at American-born and English-raised winger Jemal Johnson. Johnson seems to be a bit of a journeyman, having started his career as a youth player at Manchester United, debuting as a professional at Blackburn Rovers and then playing up and down the English pyramid, Romania, and a couple of NASL clubs. The bulk of his career was spent at MK Dons from 2007-2011. Odds of being signed: slim.
Several players were signed to contracts over the last few days as well. Second round draft pick Alec Sundly (M, Cal.) and supplemental draft pick Jossimar Sanchez (D, UConn) were given their first professional contracts, and Daigo Kobayashi- likely to be forever known as “Player X,” was signed from the Vancouver Whitecaps in return for a 4th round draft pick in 2016. The Kobayashi move seems like a classic “no brainer”: he does well and you’ve got great depth in the midfield, he does poorly and you’ve lost essentially nothing.
More to come as it happens…