With the summer window opened and six roster spots waiting to be filled, the New England Revolution will be looking to make some moves.
There are plenty of talented players around the league who are looking for opportunities that they’re not getting from their current club. These players need a change of scenery and quick. Why can’t they come to New England?
The Revolution have a history of giving individuals a second chance to pick up their careers. For example, Lee Nguyen kept moving from club to club until 2012 when New England picked up him on waivers. The standout midfielder has gone on to play in over 170 games with the Revs, grabbing a total of 47 goals. Another person who has reinvented themselves with New England is Juan Agudelo.
Despite his bright start with the U.S. Men’s National Team, Agudelo found it difficult to breakthrough with the New York Red Bulls. The youngster would later switch coasts to join Chivas USA, a move that did little to change his career path. In 2013, Agudelo was traded to the Revs, where he collected seven goals in 14 games en route to earning a move to Europe.
The examples of Nguyen, Agudelo, Daigo Kobayashi, and London Wooberry show us that New England has become a place where players can get a second chance. Here are five players that I think could come to New England and get their careers back on track.
1. Tesho Akindele
The former Rookie of the Year has not been having the best time over Dallas, as he has lost playing time due to the arrival of Crisitan Colman. A switch to the east coast would be beneficial to the Canada native, especially since he would be playing for a coach that values youth. Akindele can be used as a lone striker or winger.
The Revolution do not have a lot of depth at striker behind Agudelo and Kei Kamara. While I don’t think that he would be a starter at this point, he would be the first option off the bench. If he does perform well, Akindele could take on a more prominent role in 2018.
2. Dillon Powers
Powers debuted for the Colorado Rapids in 2013 and started off in a positive way. Very similar to Akindele, his statistics have dropped every year since he first joined the league. Simply put, it seems like Powers hasn’t been the force he once was. Mastroeni has favored others over him, so it might be time for the 2013 Rookie of the Year to make a move.
Powers likes to attack, but has shown that he can play as a box to box midfielder. With Nguyen and Rowe jockeying to play as the No. 10, Powers could provide further competition or slot in as a holding midfielder. The versatile midfielder could even play out wide.
3. Waylon Francis
The Columbus Crew have not had the best season this year and look like they’re on their way to not making the playoffs for a second consecutive year. One part of their team that has been shaky is their defense. Jukka Raitala has been the starting left back for the whole campaign and has not performed well. Despite this, head coach Gregg Berhalter seems reluctant to play Francis, who has only made 26 appearances in the last two seasons.
Chris Tierney has been a great asset to the Revolution organization, but he’s getting older and Heaps is using him less and less. Francis would provide depth at a position that the Revolution need. He is only 26 years old and has performed well in Major League Soccer over the last three years. With 16 assists in 78 appearances, Francis could provide service that the Revs desperately need.
4. Joshua Yaro
If you don’t know, the Philadelphia Union have one too many center backs on their roster. Listed below are their center backs:
· Jack Elliot
· Oguchi Onyewu
· Richie Marquez
· Ken Tribbett
· Auston Trusty
· Joshua Yaro
With Elliot and Onyweu locking down the starting spots, it doesn’t look like Yaro will be getting a starting job anytime soon especially with Trusty on the rise. Curtin has shown that he loves Elliot and Trusty, so it looks like Yaro will be the odd man out.
The Revolution desperately need help at the center back position. Benjamin Angoua has been kind of a let down but there isn’t much behind him besides rookie Josh Smith. Despite a devastating injury in his rookie campaign, Yaro has shown that he can anchor a back line in this league. The former No. 3 pick in the 2016 SuperDraft deserves to be a starter in this league, but he’ll probably need a change of location. Heaps has long shown that he’s willing to trust young players and Yaro is only 23.
5. Ethan Finlay
Take a look at these statistics:
2014: 1898 minutes, 11 G, 7A
2015: 2790 minutes, 12 G, 13 A
2016: 2462 minutes, 6 G, 9 A
2017: 1179 minutes, 1 G, 1 A
The Columbus Crew has not had the best year and neither has Finlay. If there’s one player in the league that needs a change it’s him. Ever since 2016, Finlay’s performance has downgraded, but the reason why is unclear. He has the same tools around him for the most part, but the stats have not been there.
If he came to New England, he would be back with former teammate, Kei Kamara. They were teammates in 2015, when Finlay posted his best season of his career (hint). Finlay would provide Heaps with another option on the wing so that Rowe could play as a No. 10 more regularly. Fagundez and Finlay on the wings would create a dangerous offensive threat for the Revs. There is no doubt in my mind that if Finlay would come to New England that he would shine right away.