The New England Revolution has some new faces training in Tucson as they have taken on a new crop of trialists. Jeremiah White returns for his second attempt to earn a contract, and he will be joined by Björn Runström (forward, Sweden, 27), Luisito Campisi (midfielder, Italy, 25), Florian Lechner (defender, Germany, 30), and, of course, Tom Cruise (defender, England, 20), according to Sean Donahue at New England Soccer Today.
Sean has already done the legwork in tracking down the career path of each player, so I won't rehash the whole thing here. Runström is a 6'1" forward whose career strike record looks flat-out terrible. His best stretch (in league goals) came from 2004-2006, when he put away 18 in 57 matches for Hammarby IF in Sweden. Apart from that, he's suited up for nine different clubs in his fairly young career and never scored more than seven league goals in one stay. This suggests that either Runström is a prototypical target forward and his contributions can't be measured in goals, or he shouldn't last long in camp.
Luisito Campisi has only played for five clubs in his career. A left midfielder by trade, he doesn't have much to speak of in terms of a statistical record, but then he's been slumming it in the Italian lower leagues for most of his professional years. Without knowing too much more about him, it is at least important to note that as a left-sided player, he could turn out to be a good depth pickup at a position that really hasn't seen consistency in almost a decade.
Florian Lechner is important enough to have a photo on his Wikipedia page, which is never a bad thing. He was a defensive stalwart for FC St. Pauli in Germany from 2004 to 2011, a club some may remember as the old stomping grounds of Americans like Cory Gibbs, Paul Caligiuri, and Ian Joy. Lechner, by all accounts, plays right back, which is a position that has been exposed in recent seasons for lack of depth behind incumbent Kevin Alston.
Tom Cruise has already been talked about briefly in this space, but I'll just add this: if he plays left back (which, in addition to center back, he is said to do), he should make this squad. Chris Tierney is an excellent player and a great locker room guy, but he shouldn't be starting at left back for this team. Left midfield perhaps, but not left back. Tyler Polak might be too raw for 2012, but Cruise has years in a professional environment to prepare him for starting in a top-tier league. The Revs have every reason to snap him up while they can.
Those four, and White, will join extended trialists Blake Brettschneider and Gabe Mercier, along with Supplemental Draft picks Rick Smith, Mike Roach, and Alec Purdie in Tucson. All are eligible to participate in the Desert Diamond Cup, which kicks off tomorrow night versus the L.A. Galaxy at 8 PM.
Competition is going to be tight; the Revs are likely only looking to fill four more roster spots (they're at 24) because sitting at 28 players grants them extra allocation money to buy down the cap hit on other players' contracts. In all, there are ten non-contracted players (eleven if you count Kevin Garcia, who is finishing his degree at Villanova) fighting it out for a chance to suit up in Revolution colors in 2012, so the next week or so should be real interesting.
Who do you think the Revolution will retain out of this group? Are you excited about any of these names being brought in? Leave comments below!