- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On March 19, 2008
- 2 Comments
Finally got around to doing this today…anyways its the three-time eastern conference champs turn at the WVHooligan season preview.
2007 Record and Finish: 14-8-8, 50 pts., fourth overall, second in east, lost in MLS Cup
Incoming: Chris Albright (trade with LA), Rob Valentino (SuperDraft), Michael Videira (SuperDraft), Joe Germanese (SuperDraft), Spencer Wadsworth (SuperDraft), Kheli Dube (Supplemental Draft), Mauricio Castro (transfer), Argenis Fernández (transfer)
Outgoing: James Riley (Expansion Draft), Andy Dorman (transfer), Pat Noonan (transfer), Avery John (not resigned)
Question Going Into 2008:
1. Which draft pick will turn into the next Dempsey or Twellman?
Let’s face it, Steve Nicol knows how to find the right player through the MLS draft. Look for guys like Rob Valentino or Kheli Dube to step up this season. Nicol always seems to find at least one or two guys that come out of the draft each year and step up into a key role within his club.
It may not have to be a draft pick as well. Could be someone new like Argenis Fernández or Mauricio Castro. Or it could end up being a guy that came to the club late last year but didn’t play due to visa reasons like Kenny Mansally or Sainny Nyassi.
Somewhere I think we will find another star on this team, just as we always have before.
2. Is this club deep enough for extra games this season?
They have SuperLiga, US Open Cup, CONCACAF Champions League, plus their regular season games. Younger guys will have to gain experience early for this club to be successful. As for the overall depth, I think they will be fine as long as they remain healthy. Also, they still have some wiggle room for additions in the summer. It mostly comes down to how well the younger guys become accustom to the league earlier on.
Don’t look for this club to win too many extra trophies this year though. They got over the hump on the US Open cup last year and that will go a long way for their success this year in the MLS. I just don’t see those extra games, say in the US Open Cup helping them out this time around.
I will admit though, they are my darkhorse club to win the SuperLiga this year.
3. Who will help Twellman with the scoring load?
They lost Noonan to a transfer this offseason but I think they have the parts to replace him and improve in terms of depth at the striker position. Twellman should still get his typical 12 to 16 goals this season but to remain near or at the top of the east and in the league they need another scorer to get at least 6 to 9 goals to help carry the load.
Adam Cristman had a strong rookie campaign last year and could continue that this season. Castro, Mansally, and Fernandez should all be able to step in and contribute this season as well.
Also, getting goals from their midfield will be huge as always.
4. Can they get over the hump and actually win a MLS Cup?
I’m not so sure if this year is the year but just like the last couple years, this season is as good of a chance as those with the players they have. Barring injuries and suspensions, this club should very well be in the thick of things again.
I think adding a guy like Chris Albright will help more than most people think. Albright has been on a couple championship teams (DC, LA) and so he knows what it takes to win those games. Experience like that on the defensive side of things can be a big time thing to have late in the season. That again as long as alright stays healthy this season.
5. What can we expect from the two Gambian players?
Mansally and Nyassi should have played late last year after the U-20 World Cup but again as mentioned earlier their visa problems kept them off the field. But they were in camp and were training with the club all winter so they should be ready to go.
Mansally has some speed on the wings that will really improve the midfield of this club. Also his free kick ability will go a long way in those late season games.
Nyassi did make one appearance last year for the Revs against DC late in the season. Another quick player who is excellent at taking on defenders. Nyassi is more of a development prospect than Mansally. I think we will see our fair share of both this year but look more for Mansally to break out this year than Nyassi.
2008 Season Outlook:
Sure they have lost four out of the last five MLS Cups but that doesn’t mean they won’t be in another one this season. This club has just too much experience that many teams can’t say they have right now. Despite losing some key players this club remains mostly the same from last year’s MLS Cup team, throw in some new faces and this club is just as capable of reaching another MLS Cup.
I kind of want to pull for the Revs to actually win a MLS Cup for once here before some of these guys have to move on with their careers and retire like Steve Ralston. Mainly I want Ralston and Twellman to get a Cup here.
The defense should be better with Albright and should be tougher against in the midfield than last season.
Twellman is an X-factor though for the Revs this season as he has had a very tough offseason. He wanted out and didn’t get it as we all know. I think some of the new faces up top should help him out and rejuvenate him enough to produce his normal output here. Could this be the year that he finally contends with Moreno and Razov for the all-time scoring mark? If he does then expect the Revs to be in another MLS Cup.