The New England Revolution season may have ended just a few weeks ago, but they aren't wasting any time before jumping into the off-season head-first. Just this morning, they announced a full roster clean sweep that saw eleven players have their contract options exercised, nine players have their options declined, three players get waived, and three others find themselves out of contract.
"After every season, we have to take a hard look at our roster and make some very difficult decisions, both for personnel and salary budget considerations," Revolution General Manager Michael Burns said. "In our case, we’ll continue discussions with some of the out-of-contract and declined-option players in the hope they will return to the club next year.
"We’ve been steadily adding pieces to our club and after showing some improvement this year, we’ve retained a core group of players for next season. We’ll continue to try to strengthen the team this off-season through more signings and the various drafts," Burns continued.
We'll have some more in-depth coverage of the bigger moves as the day goes on, but for now, let's get the basics:
The Revs picked up the 2014 options on goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth; defenders Jose Goncalves, Stephen McCarthy, A.J. Soares and O'Brian Woodbine; midfielders Scott Caldwell, Andy Dorman and Lee Nguyen; and forwards Jerry Bengtson, Dimitry Imbongo and Saer Sene. Those gentlemen will join Diego Fagundez, Andrew Farrell, Kelyn Rowe, and Chris Tierney (all still under contract through 2014) to make up the team's current 15-man roster.
And yes, you read that right. The Revs picked up the option on Jose Goncalves. They also moved him permanently from FC Sion. The Captain is officially a Revolution player for the foreseeable future. More on that soon.
Also, Bengtson's option was picked up. Does that mean the Honduran bust gets another season in Foxboro?
Nine players didn't make the cut, at least as far as their 2014 contract options are concerned. Forward Chad Barrett, forward Charlie Davies, midfielder Ryan Guy, defender Tyler Polak, goalkeeper Matt Reis, midfielder Clyde Simms, midfielder Donnie Smith, goalkeeper Luis Soffner and midfielder Juan Toja all had their options declined.
This isn't the end for those guys, of course. Whether or not they come back depends upon a lot of factors. The Revs are free to negotiate new contracts with those players, and some of them may be free to take part in the Re-Entry Draft. All of those considerations will weigh heavily on those players' futures.
Also, in an interview with Jeff Lemieux, Mike Burns commented specifically on the Charlie Davies and Matt Reis situations. Apparently the Revs are still working to bring Davies back for 2014, while declining Reis' option was as much about letting Matt make a decision about his future as anything else.
The MLS Waiver Draft is set to go off on Monday, November 25th (contain your excitement, kids), and the Revs are sending three players to participate. Defender Bilal Duckett, forward Matt Horth, and midfielder Gabe Latigue are all available to be selected by other clubs. With that, the entire Rhinos contingent from 2013 has technically departed the roster, which doesn't say much about the future of the relationship between the two clubs. Still, nothing has been announced on that front and, again, any one of these guys could still be back next year.
Out of Contract
Three other players find themselves out of a contract going into this off-season. Forward Juan Agudelo and defenders Darrius Barnes and Kevin Alston didn't have options to pick up, and have not signed new contracts. We know Agudelo was offered one, and we also know his situation is vastly complicated by the work permit debacle holding up his Stoke move. That's a situation the Revs will be "monitoring" (again, from the Lemieux piece), but nothing is set in stone.
As for Alston and Barnes, this hardly comes as a shock, but they will of course have a chance to return to the Revs for different contract numbers if the club and the players are willing. Whether or not they are available for the Re-Entry Draft is unclear at this point, but that will be something we'll look into shortly.
GOALKEEPERS (1): Shuttleworth
DEFENDERS (6): Farrell, Goncalves, McCarthy, Soares, Tierney, Woodbine
MIDFIELDERS (5): Caldwell, Dorman, Nguyen, Rowe, Fagundez
FORWARDS (3): Bengtson, Imbongo, Sene
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