The New England Revolution announced via press release yesterday that they waived 18-year old Nigerian right midfielder Michael Augustine. Augustine hadn't made a single senior appearance with the club, although he participated in reserve league and open cup matches. Given the team's poor play of late, it may have seemed strange to get rid of a player that hadn't had a chance to prove himself useless yet.
Today, the organization's reasoning was revealed. Also announced via press release, the Revs confirmed the signing of former University of San Diego product Ryan Guy after he left Irish outfit St. Patrick's Athletic, where he became a star and fan favorite over the last four seasons.
Guy is a right winger who turned out well in the Irish premier league, making 139 appearances and scoring 25 goals. He was voted the St. Pat's Supporters' Club Player of the Year in 2009 and owns the distinction of scoring the club's first-ever European away goal against JFK Olimps in the qualifying rounds of the 2008 UEFA Cup. Most recently, he was a part of the Airticity League XI that faced Manchester United in 2010 in the first match at Ireland's new Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Further analysis and some video highlights after the jump.
The arrival of Ryan Guy could mean the end of Zak Boggs' run as a starter on the right side. He looks good in the highlights I've seen; good vision, decent touch, accomplished crosser of the ball with a nose for goal. Then again, he's been playing in the Irish Premier, which isn't exactly the highest level of competition on offer. However, there is some precedent for lower-league players excelling in MLS. Luke Rodgers was a marginal roster player in English League One and Two sides, but is quickly establishing himself as one of the most dangerous attackers in the league with New York. Chris Birchall plied his trade in obscurity with clubs like Brighton & Hove Albion, Carlisle United and St. Mirren before catching on with the Los Angeles Galaxy and becoming an important cog in the machine. Guy could turn out to be a similar story.
If he plays, he'll also signal the end of the Darrius Barnes long-ball era. Why, you may ask? Because Guy is a skilled practitioner of the front somersault throw-in. As that video shows, he not only gets distance on his hurls, but manages to put Rory Delap-esque pace on it, which makes such maneuvers infinitely more dangerous.
CORRECTION: Guy will join the team after they return from New York this weekend. This means he should be available for selection on Wednesday night, but there is no guarantee he'll be match ready. It may take a few weeks for him to get acclimated and make his first appearance.