File under "stuff we knew was coming:" the New England Revolution announced and confirmed today that they have signed both forward Chad Barrett and defender Bilal Duckett. Both players will join up with the squad and travel to Tucson for the Desert Diamond Cup.
"We're pleased to reach agreements with Chad and Bilal," Revolution General Manager Michael Burns said. "Having faced Chad many times, we're very aware of the type of competitor he is and the determination he brings to the field, and we're looking for him to bring that to the field for the Revs now. With Bilal, we're bringing in a tall, physical defender who gives us depth and versatility along the backline. Having him in camp last fall and this preseason has helped his assimilation into our system."
Barrett won't actually join the official roster until the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate, which is necessary presumably because he spent the last few months of this past season at Valerenga in Norway's Tippeligaen. Duckett, on the other hand, was acquired through a simple free transfer from Harrisburg in the USL Pro.
Normally this would mean the Revs' offseason shopping was almost done; the roster now sits at 26 out of a normal 28. However, where the team has carried a maximum of 28 players in the past in order to collect on the extra allocation money the league provides for leaving spots 29 and 30 open, this season they have been pretty open (though apparently not open enough for me to be sure about it until today) about allowing their roster maximum to go to 30.
With that in mind, there are still four spots open for the Revs to fill. One of those is probably going to be an international forward, and if I had to guess, the other three will go to some of the SuperDraft or Supplemental Draft picks. If the current preseason roster bears that out, then Gabe Latigue, Luis Soffner, and Donnie Smith stand a good chance of being Revolution players this season, but that's just speculation.