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.
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
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.
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.
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:
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!!