As a young, local center back, Will Packwood checks a lot of boxes for the New England Revolution. Whether he will sign with the club is still unknown, however, as officials will evaluate the possibility at the end of his training stint.
When speaking to media - including Sean Donahue of NESoccerToday.com - after Tuesday’s practice, head coach Jay Heaps was silent on Packwood. The 21-year-old defender was in fact there, but Heaps’ focus on Toronto FC was unwavering.
Revolution General Manager Michael Burns provided more insight into the possibility of adding Packwood when he spoke to Dalen Cuff of State of the Revs.
"Will is a player that we've known for years," Burns said. "He’s from this area and so an agent reached out to us and said, ‘He’s free. He’s going to be back in Boston until he has interest.’ So, we said, ‘Absolutely, he’s a player that we’ll have into training for a week or two.'"
A native of Concord, MA, Packwood ventured to England at 14 years old to join Birmingham City’s youth academy. Packwood remained with the club for eight years, though he went on loan to Bristol Rovers (2013), Colchester United (2014), and Cheltenham Town (2015).
After an injury-plagued 2014-15 season, Packwood’s contract with Birmingham was terminated early, leading to a training stint with the Revolution. The club is one of many options that Packwood is currently mulling over.
"There are possibilities in England and America," Packwood said to ESPN FC. "Lots of different possibilities are being looked at. I'm sure the right choice will be made eventually. It's just a question of when."
The Revolution are also considering their options. The club is presently low in terms of center-back depth with Jose Goncalves struggling with niggling injuries and Darrius Barnes out long-term after undergoing knee surgery. The team will make the decision about offering Packwood a contract in the coming weeks.
"Our coaching staff will evaluate after the training period and we’ll see," Burns said. "We are looking for cover. Jose has been out of a little while, Darrius is going to be out for a long time, so it is a position we are looking to strengthen. We’ll just see how the next week or two goes and we’ll evaluate and make a decision at the end of his training period with us."
While Revolution officials aren't offering much in the way of analysis in regards to the play of Packwood, Jermaine Jones, who could move back into the midfield if a full-time defender is acquired, was a little blunter about the 6-foot-3 player.
"He’s a big boy," said Jones told Jeff Lemieux of RevolutionSoccer.net. "Right now we’re struggling a little bit with center backs, so it’s good to have him here."