The New England Revolution have announced this morning that Honduran international striker Jerry Bengtson has inked a Designated Player contract with the club. He is in Foxboro today and will take part in training with his new teammates. Per league and club policies, further contract details were not disclosed.
"We're very pleased that we've added Jerry to our squad," Revolution General Manager Michael Burns said. "He is very well-known within CONCACAF and has been a reliable, consistent scorer for both club and country. We're looking forward to getting him integrated into our system as quickly as possible and to getting him out on the field in MLS games."
Anyone who's been reading The Bent Musket knew this was coming when we cited Honduran reports that Bengtson was moving to the Revs. Through information in those channels, it looks like Jerry's deal is for four years; this being MLS, that almost certainly includes yearly options. There's been no word on whether or not his transfer was free or if a fee is built into his cap number.
Bengtson will be gone later this month anyway, as he's been named as one of three overage players in the Honduras Olympic squad. On the bright side, that gives Revolution fans a reason to watch the soccer matches at the Games now.
We have analyzed Jerry Bengtson's stats and recent form in previous pieces, so I won't rehash here. Instead, I want to talk about what this could mean for the team going forward. With Runstrom already out of the picture, this puts the Revolution back where they were a week or two ago in terms of forward depth. However, one has to wonder if the front office sees a reason to keep the six-figure contract of a Jose Moreno on the books when they are paying out mega-bucks (or, at least, taking a $350,000 cap hit) to have Bengtson in town. With Bengtson looking like the anointed strike partner for Saer Sene (or lone striker in the new 4-2-3-1/4-3-3), Sticking over $150,000 of fragile Colombian on the bench doesn't seem cost-effective.
Bengtson is officially listed at 6'1", 165 lbs. He has a poacher's strike rate (previous to his last season at Motagua), but a target man's frame. Ideally, he'll bring the best of both worlds. If his touch with his back to goal is half as good as his touch facing it, Jerry Bengtson could easily slot in as the target partner in a 4-4-2, but he may be even more effective as the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1. There, he can hold up play when necessary but also create and take chances for himself, something that a player like Blake Brettschneider isn't really guaranteed to bring to the table.
The big story now is the two remaining open spots on the Revolution roster. New England still holds the top allocation spot for the remainder of the 2012 season, and one has to think they still have a bit of cap space to play around with. Bengtson is obviously the big-name signing intended to spark (or stabilize, really) the offense; the next target will have to be defense. Despite the improved play of pretty much everyone in the back line, the Revs are still leaking goals like a sieve, and waiving Lozano created depth problems.
Then again, perhaps with Bengtson, the Revs will just score more than everyone else and win that way. Whether you win 1-0 or 4-3, the points are still the same.
Full name: Jerry Ricardo Bengtson Bodden
Date of Birth: April 8, 1987 (Santa Rosa de Aguan, Honduras)
Hometown: Santa Rosa de Aguan, Honduras
Weight: 165 lbs.
Previous Club: CD Motagua (HON)
Status: Designated Player, International
Jersey Number: 27
What do you think of this signing? Is this a good move for the Revs? Do you have additional insight on Bengtson, or questions? Let us know in the comments!