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Revolution In Review: Midfielders (Part 2)

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For the rest of the midfield contingent, see Part 1.

Roberto "Betu" Linck: "Betu" was brought in at the midway point of the season to provide attacking options in the Revolution midfield, both on the wings and in a withdrawn forward role. Unfortunately, he suffered an adductor strain in the beginning of October after just two appearances (one in MLS) and never made any sort of impact. It’s difficult to make any sort of assessment of his talent without a body of work to look back on.

Even when healthy, Betu didn’t seem to get any love from the Revs’ coaching staff, which doesn’t bode well for his future on the team. He is young and his salary is cheap, however, so if the brain trust wants to try and bring him along slowly they have the time and (via the Reserve League) the means. Still, I can’t help but feel he is going to go the way of a Michael Videira or (more recently) Nico Colaluca; another attack-minded player who will be shipped off without ever really seeing the field.

Chris Tierney: Tierney cemented himself in the 2010 season as an indispensable member of the New England team. Apart from being a leadership presence both on the pitch and in the locker room, his versatility likens him to soccer duct tape; the Massachusetts native played seven different positions throughout the campaign and acquitted himself fairly well at all of them.

2010 was also a banner year for the midfielder statistically, with four assists (three game-winning) and a goal in league play. This production would be a bit low for a player seeing consistent time on the left side of midfield, but when you consider that he was playing a different position every week it becomes apparent that his stats are very misleading.

Tierney is going nowhere. In fact, if Shalrie Joseph misses time in the 2011 season it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see Tierney serve as vice-captain. Despite not possessing dangerous pace, his pitch awareness and cultured left foot should ensure his status as a valued contributor for some time.

Nico Colaluca: There isn’t much to say about Nico. He made just one appearance last season after only six in 2009. He is billed as an attacking midfielder and a good passer of the ball, but injuries have limited his opportunities to show it in a Revolution uniform.

It would be nice to see him return and get a better shot at providing spark in the New England midfield, but the removal of his Generation Adidas status means that his $133,000 guaranteed compensation would affect the cap in 2011. Bluntly, there’s no way the Revolution (or any team in MLS right now) is paying Colaluca six figures. Thus, he was allowed to enter the re-entry draft, and will likely find a new home only if he accepts a drastic pay cut.

Khano Smith: The less that is said about Khano, the better. Smith was never a particularly skillful contributor in his first go-round with the Revolution, but the Bermudan truly made a mockery of himself and the game this season in his time back in Foxboro.

Khano is an entrant in the re-entry draft, but it should be concerning for all New England fans that Steve Nicol apparently values Smith’s locker room presence even to the exclusion of his obvious lack of talent. It would be silly but not implausible for Smith to slip through both stages of the re-entry draft and then find himself re-signed in Foxboro during the season.

Diego Fagundez: Fagundez owns the distinction of being the Revolution’s first ever homegrown player. Just 15 years old, he was signed to a professional contract from the Revs’ U-16 academy squad this fall after showing plenty of potential in the development league.

In the 2009-2010 youth season he scored 20 goals and has continued his blistering form, knocking in goals as recently as the US Soccer Winter Showcase a week or two ago. The Uruguay native will probably see the majority of his time either still with the youth teams or in the reserve league, but his exciting potential means that his development will be closely monitored.

Do you agree with the assessment of the midfield? Think someone should stay or go? Leave a comment below!