Blake Wagner taking on Kenny Mansally in 2011. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
This is a bit delayed, but in case you missed it, earlier this week the Revolution welcomed 5 new trialists to training camp. Three of them are relatively unknown: Patrick Otte, Gabe Mercier, and Brandin McClay. Otte, a midfielder, currently plays for the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL. Mercier is a defender who has joined the Revs in the past for reserve games. And McClay is a midfielder who has played in the German fifth division with SpVgg Weiden.
Also in camp are two familiar faces to MLS: Luke Kreamalmeyer and Blake Wagner. Kreamalmeyer was the 2005 MLS combine MVP and has played for a variety of teams between 2006 and today including Real Salt Lake, the Portland Timbers, and the Montreal Impact as well as several lower division US sides. He plays both right midfield and right back and, at 29, brings a lot of experience that the Revs could certainly find useful, especially considering the fact that we currently have no cover for Kevin Alston at RB.
Blake Wagner is a 24 year old defender/midfielder originally from Georgia. He was drafted in 2006 by FC Dallas where he played until 2009. He then made his way to the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2010 before the club was brought into MLS. Wagner stuck with the Caps for a bit in 2011 but was ultimately released midway through the season. From there he was picked up by Real Salt Lake for the remainder of the season but then found himself available in the re-entry draft this off-season where he was not picked up.
Wagner's ability to play left back coupled with his familiarity with MLS makes him an interesting option for the Revolution to consider, especially considering the loss of re-entry draft first round selection Danleigh Borman and just the Revs' general need for defensive depth.
These five trialists are certainly not as exciting as the four we saw join the team in Arizona, but it is at least encouraging that the team is continuing to try out different guys-they still have quite a few roster spots to fill, after all. Other non-contracted players still trialing with the team are supplemental draft selections Rick Smith, Alec Purdie, and Mike Roach.
Coach Heaps has stated that there are still discussions going on with players that have been in camp this off-season, and the hope is that some of the more promising trialists like Saer Sene and Jeremiah White are among those currently in talks. Based on all the bad news that Revolution fans have had to stomach this week thus far, some encouraging news out of pre-season camp is, by all means, more than welcome. Fingers crossed.
New England Soccer Today has even more information on this week's new trialists, so definitely hop over there if you'd like to know more.