the tanner ba'

New England Revolution Roster Moves

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In the wake of what can only be described as a “disappointing” 2015 season the New England Revolution have begun to take steps to shape their 2016 roster and, one hopes, to make sure that the 2016 seasons ends with a better result.  Let’s first take a look at the players who will be returning to the club next year.

Returning Players

  • Lee Nguyen
  • Brad Knighton
  • Andrew Farrell
  • Jose Gonçalves
  • London Woodberry
  • Darius Barnes
  • Teal Bunbury
  • Scott Caldwell
  • Diego Fagundez
  • Kelyn Rowe
  • Charlie Davies
  • Sean Okoli
  • Daigo Kobayashi
  • Juan Agudelo
  • Bobby Shuttleworth
  • Zachary Herivaux

With the exception of the final four on that list, who were already under contract, the remaining players all had their contract options exercised by the club.  Sean Okoli and Zachary Hariveaux are probably the two names you are least familiar with- if you know them at all.  Okoli is a forward the Revolution obtained through trade with the Seattle Sounders during this years SuperDraft- he played only 45 minutes for the Revolution during the 2015 season.  Herivaux is a 19 year old midfielder who has been part of the Revolution’s Academy since 2011.  Under current FIFA regulations Herivaux is eligible to play for Japan (he was born there), Haiti (his parents are Haitian), and the U.S. (he has lived most of his life here).  Thus far he has played for the Haitian U20 side five times.  Both players are considered good prospects and are currently training in with Sporting as part of the partnership between the Revolution and the 18 time Portuguese champions

Out of Contract

  • Andy Dorman
  • Jermaine Jones

The club has until December 10 to resign either of these players.  I would think that is a possibility in Dorman’s case- he’s a good jack-of-all-trades in the midfield and could probably be signed for reasonable money.  Jones is gone.  Where?  Who knows?  But he’s gone.

Released

  • Trevor Spangenberg
  • Tyler Rudy
  • Timi Mulgrew
  • Steve Neumann
  • Jeremy Hall
  • Kevin Alston

Spangenberg (GK), Rudy (M), and Mulgrew (F) never played a minute for the club since joining, so no shocker here.  Neumann played sparingly over two seasons and will probably find a better home with another club as his fellow draftee and Hoya alum Patrick Mullins did after being left unprotected in last year’s Expansion Draft and joining NYCFC.  Hall played well at times but was a spare part on a defense that, save Andrew Farrell, Jose Gonçalves, and Chris Tierney, needs a complete overhaul.  Don’t be surprised to see Alston back in New England next year if the price is right- he’s a much more capable player to bring off the bench and spot-start.  Revolution GM Mike Burns has also said that the club is still talking with two of the players about returning, and one suspects that it is two of the last three on the list.

Unknown

  • Donnie Smith

All I could find out about midfielder Donnie Smith is that he is currently in Portugal with Harivaux and Okoli.  Why, I’m not sure.  Smith’s current contract expires in January, he has played a only four matches with the club (2 in MLS, 2 in the Open Cup) since joining in 2013 and seven matches with the club’s USL-PRO affiliate Rochester Rhinos.  He has also missed significant chunks of each season (including all but the first match of 2013) through injury and when he has played it hasn’t been much or well.  Kind of a head scratcher here.  Oh, and he turned 25 yesterday.  That’s not old by any standard, but it is kind of worrying given he’s only played in 11 professional matches (only about half as a starter) in the last three seasons.

Finally, complicating all of these plans is that this is the first year of free agency in MLS, so there are 26 players who will be available to sign starting at 1pm this afternoon.  The crop is a bit thin in this first year given that players must be 28 AND have 8 years of MLS service behind them.  As a result there are a lot of aging players who didn’t joint he league until after college or who played outside of MLS for a few seasons before joining.  Still, there might be a few worth taking a look at:

  • Drew Moor (D): The Revs need help on the back line and more has 300 MLS appearances split between FC Dallas and Colorado Rapids- that doesn’t happen by accident.  Probably has a few good years left- he turns 32 in January.
  • Ned Grabavoy (M):  Here’s what I know about Grabavoy, 32, he’s a pest.  Wherever he’s played- Galaxy, Crew, RSL, San Jose, NYCFC- he’s given the Revolution fits.  I don’t know if he’s a starter anymore, but as a late game ball-winner in the midfield…
  • Jeff Larentowicz (M):  I would take Big Red, 32, back in a heartbeat.  After over 100 matches with the Revs he moved to Colorado (96 matches, 14 goals, 4 USMNT caps) and Chicago (94 matches, 14 goals, 2 seasons as team captain) where he was at least as good a player if not better.  Slot him into Jermaine Jones role and spend that DP money on a defender.  Case closed.
  • Conor Casey (F):  If you only knew how hard it was for me to put him on this list.  I feel like he is a one-dimensional player- “see ball, kick at goal”- who whines to officials a lot, but the fact is that he makes that work just enough to be useful- 18 goals in his last two seasons (46 matches with Philadelphia).  Not somebody I’d want as a starter, but holding the ball up for Davies, Fagundez, Agudelo…  He’s 34.
  • Mike Magee (F):  Magee piques my interest a bit.  Before undergoing surgery for a hip injury (and losing all but one rehab match in 2015) he had 22 goals in 38 matches for the Fire- that’s in the “elite” level in MLS.  He scored 17 of those in 2013 when he was the league MVP.  If he’s healthy and the money is right I think you have to at least make him an offer.

So, there we go.  Plenty to think about until the Revolution BLOW US AWAY* by announcing the site of the new soccer-specific stadium and a MAJOR designated player assignment on the same day!!

 

*sarcasm.

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