The New England Revolution selected two players in today's MLS Re-Entry draft, forward Nate Jaqua from the Seattle Sounders and defensive midfielder Clyde Simms from DC United. These players, in addition to the acquisition of defender Danleigh Borman from Toronto FC in last Monday's first stage of the re-entry draft, total the Revs' additions to three new players thus far this off-season.
Last week's draft choice, Danleigh Borman--traditionally a left back--could add much needed depth to the Revs' back line, although this is an area that the club will be expected to add some top-tier talent in light of last season's second-most goals allowed statistic. A former URI Ram and RI Stingray, Borman was selected in the 2008 supplemental draft by the New York Red Bulls and made 59 appearances. He made his way to Toronto as a part of the (first) Dwayne De Rosario trade from this past season. He will likely (hopefully) not be the answer at left back in 2012, but will certainly provide a different option to the Revolution defense and hopefully will add to the team's attack as a defender known to find his way up the field. The Revolution have yet to announce if they've reached an agreement.
Today's first round selection, Nate Jaqua, comes from the Seattle Sounders and brings 9 years of MLS experience to the Revolution. He has also had stints with Austrian club SC Rheindorf Altach as well as 3 appearances with the US National Team. In MLS, aside from the Sounders, Jacua also played for the Chicago Fire, the LA Galaxy, and the Houston Dynamo. Much like Borman, Jaqua could add much needed depth to the Revolution roster, specifically to an area where the Revs have much uncertainty moving into the 2012 season.
The next pick for the Revs in stage two of the MLS Re-Entry Draft was Clyde Simms. Simms, who previously played for the Richmond Kickers after going undrafted out of college, eventually wound up at DC United where he made 182 appearances between 2005 and 2011. He plays defensive midfielder, a role already firmly filled by now Designated Player Shalrie Joseph. His selection, however, serves a similar purpose to the Revs' other Re-Entry draft picks in that he would provide depth to the position.
The Revolution will have seven days to make genuine offers to their selections from today's 2nd stage of the Re-Entry Draft, so nothing is set in stone just yet.
The 2011 Re-Entry Draft also saw the departure of Kheli Dube, who was selected today by the Chicago Fire, as well as Ryan Cochrane and Pat Phelan who went undrafted and were not reacquired by the Revs.
Many might see the new additions as part of a grander overhaul or makeover to the team, but I prefer to optimistically think of these moves as "fine tuning". While these decisions may not follow the ‘out with the old, in with the new' philosophy, it seems to me that Borman, Simms, and Jaqua are fairly significant upgrades to Cochrane, Phelan, and Dube. These guys will realistically be playing behind their first team counterparts, but will undoubtedly give the team some fresh faces, quality, experience, and new options to play with off the bench and when fatigue and injuries start to come into play this upcoming season.
While it should definitely be seen as a good sign that the Revs are making some changes thus far this off-season, the underlining sentiment amongst fans will undoubtedly be the enduring hope that Coach Heaps will have had success in his recent scouting trips to Cetnral and Couth America as well as whatever future trips may be planned before March. New faces are great, but what the Revs need is more than what the Re-Entry draft can offer. Next up, the Revs will look to the 2012 SuperDraft in January where they will have the 3rd overall pick, a great opportunity to add big talent to enliven their roster even more.