Yesterday was a busy day on the roster front in Foxboro. The Revs signed former Winthrop standout defender Otto Loewy, who had trialed with the club in Georgia during the preseason. Then, hours later, they announced that second-year fullback Seth Sinovic had been waived.
I haven't seen much of Loewy, but overall I have no complaints with the signing. The Revs are now crazy deep in central defense, so if lightning strikes twice and half the squad is decimated with injury, Steve Nicol won't be forced to try and field Chris Tierney at center-back in a critical league or cup match. Loewy also saw time at right-back in Kennesaw, so perhaps if Alston's hammy acts up again we won't see Zak Boggs playing out of position on the back line.
Loewy's senior season was actually 2008 (but he competed in 2009, somehow), and he was invited to the 2010 combine but a massive knee injury suffered in a match against William & Mary prevented him from attending. He was Winthrop's team MVP in his junior and senior seasons, and earned All-Big South honors in his last three collegiate campaigns. All-in-all, he comes well-recommended.
I am, however, very sad to see Sinovic go. I really don't think he got a fair shake on this roster and it leaves the Revolution dangerously thin at fullback. Furthermore, I believe Sinovic had the talent and potential to be a solid MLS contributor, especially if he spent a season or two under the tutelage of a classy veteran like Didier Domi. I was at the home opener last season when he absolutely shut down Dwayne DeRosario in what was just his third ever professional appearance; DeRo only scored his goal because he drifted inside, away from Sinovic. Otherwise the Canadian superstar was totally absent.
Read on after the jump.
I also have my concerns about Loewy and what he brings to the table. He obviously had a very productive collegiate career, and Winthrop is a regional superpower, having won five conference championships since 2002. Winthrop isn't known as a soccer powerhouse, though, like Akron or the various ACC Schools. This season only two Big South players were selected in any MLS draft, and both (Joe Anderson and Scott Rojo) were Supplemental Draft picks. The level of competition he is used to might not make for a smooth transition to the pros.
He's also only 5'10". It could be a matter of personal preference, but I prefer tall defenders (at least 6') unless they have some seriously impressive positioning/distribution skills or huge ups to make up for aerial vulnerability. Michael Parkhurst, for example, wasn't the tallest defender but his ability to be exactly where he needed to be at all times more than made up for it. Jay Heaps made up for his lack of height with his soccer brain and his athleticism. Without seeing Loewy in action I have no way of being confident that he has the tools either of those players did that will make him able to adequately deal with aerial threats.
Furthermore, it appears that Loewy has spent the last year out of the game. According to a team source, when asked what his last club was he answered "Winthrop," leading me (and anyone else with even limited powers of deductive reasoning) to believe that he hasn't played organized soccer since the 2009 collegiate season. I'm not saying that means he's lost the ability to play at a high level, but it's still worrying.
The underlying storyline here is that the Revs are attempting to stay at that magic roster number of 28 so they can be entitled to the completely arbitrary $70,000 in allocation money that MLS promises clubs who stay under 30 players ($35k apiece for slots 29 and 30). That said, there's no reason not to believe that New England will be ready and willing to top off at 30 players; Rajko Lekic would make 29, and the summer DP that has been bandied around by team execs for the last few months would make 30. Unfortunately, there's no room for Seth Sinovic in that scenario, and for once the Revs are deep enough in defense to make the sacrifice.
Still, it's just too bad. I can't imagine what it's like to go from 20 appearances (18 starts) to cut in the third week of the season. Good luck, Seth, wherever you go next.
What do you think about the move? Are you excited to see what Loewy can do? Do you think waiving Sinovic is a mistake?