The New England Revolution twitter feed (@NERevolution) has just announced the following: "Revs have declined options on Burpo, Colaluca, Gibbs and Smith. All four are eligible for the Re-Entry Process now."
It’s worth remembering that this doesn’t actually mean that these players are gone for certain; some may not be picked up in the draft at all. However, the names really shouldn’t surprise anyone.
Burpo: As I stated yesterday when examining the goalkeepers, Burpo performed well but was always going to be moved. He’s the highest-paid netminder not named Matt Reis in the squad and his advanced age and recent injury will have diminished his trade value. At the end of the day, if he’s taken the Revs can only benefit by what they bring in to fill his roster spot.
Colaluca: Nico Colaluca made exactly one competitive appearance in 2010, after making just six following his arrival from Colorado in 2009. Colaluca is billed as a quick, dynamic attacking midfielder, which is certainly something the Revs could use; on the other hand, he missed eighteen matches last season due to injury and doesn’t seem to have caught Steve Nicol’s attention in the last eighteen months.
Colaluca is a player I’d really like to keep, just to give him a chance to flourish in a full healthy season in Foxboro. The problem is his wage bill: he was guaranteed $133k in compensation for 2010. This wasn’t a problem this past season because he was Generation Adidas, but with the GA tag removed going into next season there was no way the Revs were going to pay that sort of money for an unproven young midfielder with an injury record.
Gibbs: Cory Gibbs was one of the few consistently effective performers in defense in 2010 and was third on the team in minutes played. He has the versatility to play both centrally and on the left, and the veteran experience and savvy to keep a back line together under consistent pressure. Of course, none of that really helped this past season, but it’s difficult to place all of the blame on the former Charlton player.
Releasing Gibbs into the draft smacks of an attempt to save money. Gibbs is 30 years old and the highest-paid defender on the team, and though he played well was never so instrumental that locking him back up to another similar deal would be a priority. The Revs will likely use the money saved by his release to pick up a younger and cheaper defender, unless they deviate from their norm and go after a higher caliber of veteran presence for the back line, which wouldn’t be a bad idea in the least.
Smith: It’s a Christmas miracle. Khano Smith will be released by the Revs and no one except Steve Nicol will miss him. The only real threat with Khano is that no sane MLS team would take a chance on him, and I’m not sure what happens to players who survive both stages of the re-entry draft. If he pulls on a Revs kit again and kicks a ball in anger it will be a crime against the sport.
Agree with the Revolution’s decisions? Disagree with my assessment? Leave a comment below!