The New England Revolution have announced today that they've mutually parted ways with defensive midfielder Kalifa Cisse. Cisse's contract will be terminated after having signed just this past November.
"We want to thank Kalifa for his time with us and wish him well on his future opportunities," Revolution General Manager Michael Burns said. "He has been a true professional and a great mentor for our young squad, so we wish him the best as he moves on."
Cisse, 29, signed with the Revolution on November 19, 2012, with eight years experience in Europe, most recently at English Championship side Bristol City. This season, Cisse made six appearances - all starts - and played 456 minutes of first-team action. The former Mali international also made two appearances for the Revs in their run in the U.S. Open Cup this year. His last appearance in an MLS match came May 11 in a 1-1 draw against New York at Gillette Stadium.
The writing was certainly on the wall for Cisse, with homegrown rookie Scott Caldwell beating him out for a starting spot in the midfield and Clyde Simms filling out the back-up role adequately and for much less money. The Malian was the most expensive player on the Revolution's roster, earning $445,000 in guaranteed compensation (according to the most recent information from the MLS Players Union), but failing to break into the game-day 18-man squad for some time now.
Cisse was brought into the fold early on in the Revolution's off-season with Jay Heaps and his staff hoping that the veteran would bring some grit and leadership to the team. However, that order seems to have been successfully filled by captain Jose Goncalves.
Cisse's departure opens up not only another roster spot, but also an international spot as well. With the transfer window closing on Thursday, this move could certainly be seen as a measure to make room for an international signing this week. Then again, it could be completely unrelated.