- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On February 18, 2010
- 5 Comments
- Cory Gibbs, Darrius Barnes, Emmanuel Osei, Gabriel Badilla, Kenny Mansally, Kevin Alston, Kheli Dube, Matt Reis, Mauricio Castro, Pat Phelan, Preston Burpo, Sainey Nyassi, Shalrie Joseph, Steve Nicol, Taylor Twellman
The winter months can either be good or bad on a Major League Soccer club. Its all really on who leaves the club and who comes in to help out. Take the New England Revolution for instance, each year its seems they lose one big name after another either in a trade, a transfer or just someone not wanting to re-sign with them.
Yet somehow the Revs always seem to bounce back in some form the following year thanks to manager Steve Nicol. But looking at this winter one has to wonder did they lose and give up too much?
Its time to find out as we take another preseason look-in to see how the club is doing and what they need to add before the season begins.
Who they have: Matt Reis, Preston Burpo, and Bobby Shuttleworth.
Notes: On paper right now this group is set but dig a little deeper and the club has to be concerned about injuries issues for at least the next couple months with Reis. That’s why they made the play for Burpo, a solid backup plan if you ask me. Once Reis is back to full health the Revs will continue to be find in this department.
Who they have: Kevin Alston, Darrius Barnes, Gabriel Badilla, Emmanuel Osei, Cory Gibbs, and Seth Sinovic.
Notes: On paper this seems a little light but the youth there is so solid. I can’t tell you how big of a fan of Barnes and Alston I am. I also like that they went out and got Gibbs this winter too in that trade with the Rapids. Gibbs wants to be in New England and word has it he is a happy camper right now which is good to see for Revs fans.
They may have given up a bunch in the back this winter with Jay Heaps retiring and the trade of Chris Albright to New York but as long as they add one or two more parts back here, which they will, I don’t see a big drop in this club’s defense.
Right now it seems like they could still use at least one more outside back and one more center back for depth reasons.
Who they have: Shalrie Joseph, Chris Tierney, Sainey Nyassi, Mauricio Castro, Michael Videira, Nico Colaluca, and Pat Phelan.
Notes: They took a beating in this department this winter losing both Steve Ralston to AC St. Louis and trading away Jeff Larentowicz. Honestly the loss of Larentowicz is harder on them as he allowed Joseph to be himself more than anyone out there. However they do have a young guy in Phelan who will help ease the loss of Larentowicz more than some realize.
Unfortunately they have not addressed the loss of Ralston just yet. I know Nicol is looking but the clock is ticking away here and waiting around until the summer to bring someone in to help get the attack going may be too risky. They need an assist machine like Ralston was and right now other than Joseph possibly stepping into that role I don’t know who else will do it here. Maybe one of the rookies like Zac Boggs who will likely end up in the midfield rather than as a forward on the pro level (if they end up keeping him).
Adding a playmaker or some depth on the wings will go a long way here to help this bunch compete in the east.
Who they have: Taylor Twellman, Kenny Mansally, Kheli Dube, Edgaras Jankauskas, Zack Schilawski, and Zac Boggs.
Notes: The Revs have to bank on a couple things here this season. The big one is getting and keeping Twellman healthy for the season. I think if he can play at least 20 games (or more) this year it will be a positive thing. After that they have to hope Schilawski produces goals or helps create them…not to mention remembering that it was the Revs that picked him, not the Crew.
I still think they need to go after another scorer here. They can’t rely solely on Joseph to do the work this year. Mansally, Dube and Jankauskas have to step up more for them to be successful in the east.
Like I mentioned above we have seen this club lose a lot of quality players over the year but I honestly don’t know how they bounce back from this winter. Don’t get me wrong their draft wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good enough to make people comfortable right away. Defensively I think the club is going to be alright but just like last year they will be in a lot of close games until a scorer steps up or until Twellman is back to his old self.
I’m one that usually drinks the Steve Nicol kool-aid but this winter has me thinking now that Paul Mariner is gone along with Ralston and Larentowicz and the injury issues to Reis and Twellman that this could be a very long year for Revs fans.
A couple more moves may change my mind but I get a sense that the Revs are going into this season just like they are now.