Since it became clear that the Revolution were going to lose Juan Agudelo at the end of the 2013 season many people, including myself, started to worry about our firepower for the 2014 season. The same old discussions take place time and time again: Will Davies be able to recapture his form? Will Jerry finally come good? Will Dimitry mature enough this season to have a big impact on the team? Then there has been the talk of an international striker.
Many also think that we are lacking by not following the same path as TFC. In a sense, you could understand why. Trialists have come and go through pre-season, and players that we seemed interested in sign with other teams. At times it feels frustrating.
However, the signing of Teal Bunbury is perfect for the Revolution for four reasons, and if you would allow me to do so I will explain why:
1. His Age - Although it feels like he has been around for a long time, Teal Bunbury is only 23 years old (he turns 24 on the 27th Feb) this fits perfectly with the ethos that this team has. That is to bring through young, hungry professionals that will fit in with a group of players that are already in the team. The fact that he has four caps and one goal for the national team just adds to this and will definitely be of help for players coming through, like Diego, who could be on the verge of making that step up to their national teams.
2. MLS Experience - As we have seen, notably with Bengtson, that going out and looking for a big name, international forward, it doesn't always work. It is a much safer bet to bring someone in who knows the league and has been part of a team that has won MLS Cup. People might question his goal-scoring prowess, but the facts speak for themselves. Bunbury is a 6'2" striker who has played 88 games and scored 19 goals. Compare that to Agudelo at 6' with a record of 18 goals in 73 games. These similarities aren't too far apart. Don't think for one minute that I am saying that Teal can come in and have the same impact Juan did, but in the same sentence don't think I am ruling it out.
3. Effect on Others - I know I have already touched on this whilst talking about his international experience, but I want to look at it in another way. In making the addition of Teal to the Revs roster it takes the pressure off players like Neumann and Mullins to come in and step up straight away. This could also benefit Imbongo in the same way, but the point that I find very interesting is this: what if we sign Marvin Ogunjimi? It will take pressure off both Ogunjimi and Bunbury. This may sound strange, but think of it in the sense that they will both carry the burden of scoring the goals rather than one of them shouldering it alone. You never know; it might turn into the most potent three-pronged attack in MLS with Fagundez.
4. International Slot - In signing Bunbury, it leaves the Revolution open to go out and find international players that might be able to add the crown jewels to what is a very solid base of a good MLS team. With the team we have at the minute I don't think playoffs are out of reach, but you never know. With the addition of a couple of internationals, that might not have to come in and be the focal point of the attack, we might just be able to go for MLS cup this season. Of course people will look at what TFC have done and the other teams that have brought in a lot of players, but the Revs have stability and the nucleus of a team that has played together for a while, and this is a good thing. The likes of TFC will have to gel as a team and gel quickly. This doesn't always work; look at the likes of Tottenham Hotspur. They spent £100m in the summer and not until Christmas did they start playing well. The players that Spurs brought in were very good players coming from Europe, and TFC, with the exception of Bradley, are bringing in players that don't know the league. It might take a long time to settle.
Overall I think what the Revs have done is the right thing, and signing a player with international experience who knows the league will only serve towards strengthening an already-promising team.