A month has passed since the New England Revolution played in the MLS Cup Final, and thus far the team has been quiet in regards to player acquisitions. The team has solidified their goalkeeping corps by re-signing Brad Knighton and added defensive depth by trading for Jeremy Hall. That’s it. Fans shouldn’t worry too much, however, since the Revs have traditionally been quiet up to this point.
In 2012, Jay Heaps succeeded Stevie Nicol as head coach. Though he tried to add Danleigh Borman, Nate Jaqua and Clyde Simms through the Re-Entry Draft, Simms was the only player that ended up on the Revolution’s roster. In fact, Simms was the only new face acquired before John Lozano and Ferando Cardenas joined on free transfers from America de Cali on January 9.
Scouting for the 2013 season began early as the team’s playoff dreams came to an end in September. Andy Dorman, Kalifa Cisse, Chad Barrett, Scott Caldwell and Jose Goncalves were all brought in before the MLS SuperDraft. Keep in mind that many of these players had trialed with the Revs during the 2012 season.
The Revolution found success in 2013, returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Much of the team’s young core was kept intact which made for another quiet off-season. Paolo DelPiccolo, who was released soon after, and Knighton were the only players added before January 6. Charlie Davies transferred from Randers a few days later.
Now, one month removed from almost lifting the MLS Cup, the Revolution’s roster currently stands at 18, a number that includes the on-loan Jerry Bengtson. The team is reportedly still negotiating with AJ Soares, who is rumored to move to Serie A’s Hellas Verona, Teal Bunbury and Re-Entry Draft pick Tristan Bowen.
As you can see, silence in regards to player moves at this point is not uncommon. A major difference between this off-season and years past, however, is that the Revs don’t have many picks in the MLS SuperDraft. After grabbing Kelyn Rowe early in 2012, Andrew Farrell in 2013 and Steve Neumann and Patrick Mullins in 2014, the Revs find themselves without a first round draft pick in 2014. The Revolution’s first selection won’t be made until the second round, 33rd overall.
The lack of draft picks (which might actually be a good thing since many pundits believe that this is one of the weakest drafts in recent memory) will make international signings all the more important. The scouting and that revolves around these types of players takes time. Furthermore, the Revs have instituted the admirable policy of trialing players before signing them.
The off-season can be an excruciating time for fans as they anxiously scour Twitter for a drop of player news. And while this is fine to do, just remember that the majority of the team’s core is returning and that silence up to this point is the norm.