With a league-high 40 goals conceded this year, it's safe to say the New England Revolution's defense isn't clicking. The Revs started the season with Jose Goncalves and Andrew Farrell as their center backs with Chris Tierney and Je-Vaughn Watson patrolling the wide areas. Head coach Jay Heaps eventually returned Farrell to the right back position and named London Woodberry as Goncalves' partner. The change didn't produce desirable long-term results.
So, what's the problem?
It all stems from the departure of A.J. Soares, who left the Revs at the end of the 2014 season to embark on a European adventure. Since then, the Revs have signed four defenders: Woodberry, Watson, Samba, and Jordan McCrary. Of the lot, only two have become regular contributors and none have filled the cleats of Soares.
There were other applicants, however, as the Revs were linked--sometimes accurately, sometimes tenuously--to other defenders. Let's take a look at where those players are now.
VanCompernolle joined the Revs as a trialist during the 2015 preseason after four years at UNC Wilmington. The 5'11 defender didn't last long but did eventually catch on with the Oklahoma City Energy of USL. VanCompernolle moved to USL newbie Swope Park Rangers in 2016 but eventually returned to the Energy on loan.
Packwood seemed destined to join his local MLS team after exiting early from Birmingham City in May 2015. Several training stints later--with the Revs and other MLS clubs--Packwood is still without a team. If anyone knows his whereabouts, please let us know. TBM is very concerned about his well-being.
In September 2015, the Revs were linked to Whitbread, another US international. The team reportedly reached the negotiation stage with Whitbread but never came to terms. The center back eventually linked up with Shrewsbury Town in League One. He was released at the end of the season and is currently a free agent.
Madlung was linked to the Revs by Kicker during the summer of 2015, though the truth behind this rumor can certainly be disputed. Regardless, the German never signed with the Revs, instead joining Bundesliga 2 side Fortuna Düsseldorf. His contract there runs until 2017.
Phillips was one of several defenders brought in on trial during the 2016 preseason. This was the USL standout's second trial, as he was previously with the Revs in the Fall of 2015. Although he spent an extended time on trial, Phillips eventually returned to Colorado Switchbacks FC of USL.
Samuel saw time at left back during his short trial with the Revs during the 2016 preseason. The Southern New Hampshire University alum would go on to sign with the Rochester Rhinos.
Addy was yet another trialist that surfaced during the 2016 preseason. The Ghanian left back played a couple of games while the Revs were in Arizona. He would ultimately return to Belgian Pro League club Waasland-Beveren.
Brovsky, an MLS veteran and mustache enthusiast, trialed with the Revs during the 2016 preseason. Capable of playing in the midfield or along the back line, Brovsky looked like he could've been solid depth. It wasn't to be, however, as Brovsky left the Revs and signed with Minnesota United of NASL.
Rumors emerged that Soares would rejoin the Revs during the 2016 summer transfer window. After letting his contract with Viking FK expire, Soares trained with Orlando City SC despite the Revs holding his league rights. An MLS return wasn't in the cards, however, as the California native signed with Danish club AGF Aarhus.
So, what do you think? Would you have signed any of these defenders? Did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know in the comments section belong.