New England Soccer Today

Buyer’s Remorse

Jose Moreno points to the heavens after scoring what proved to be his only goal in a Revolution uniform on Apr. 14 against D.C. (Photo: Chris Aduama/aduama.com)

So much for all those goals Jose Moreno was supposed to score.

In a move that shocked no one, the Revolution cut ties with well-traveled and oft-injured striker on Monday, thus closing the book on the most curious offseason signing in recent memory.

It’s easy to see why the Revolution cut the embattled striker. One goal in seven games, as well as a litany of appearances on the injury list, only cemented his spot on the chopping block.

Then again, it’s difficult to fathom why it took this long.

Only six months ago, Moreno’s signing was well-heralded by the club. Right from the start, they christened him as their new number 9. The Revolution were going to attack. And Moreno was going to be the beneficiary of that attitude.

Well, at least that’s the way it was originally scripted. The re-write, however, was far more interesting.

Only days after the announcement, a Colombian news service reported that Moreno’s heart was with Once Caldas, the club the Revolution worked with to bring the striker to New England. Red flag, anyone?

In the days that followed, the Revolution front office brushed the comments aside. They said he was misquoted. They said he’d be here. They had a legally-binding agreement already in hand. And technically, he didn’t have to arrive until Mar. 1. The excuses? There were plenty.

So the Revolution waited. And then waited some more. While all was quiet on Moreno’s end after those curious quotes, the Revolution kept insisting he’d be here. When Mar. 1 passed without his arrival, they cited ITC and Visa issues – issues that most, if not all international signings, don’t often wait until the last possible minute to address.

When he finally did arrive, he wasn’t exactly in peak condition. He was kept off the field until Apr. 5 against Dallas, when he came on as 79th minute sub. Though he didn’t score, his rip on Kevin Hartman showed he had no problem pulling the trigger.

Nine days later, it looked as if maybe, just maybe, Moreno would show us what all the fuss was about. In an Apr. 14 game against D.C., it only took six minutes before the Colombian striker struck when he put through a looping cross from Saer Sene to put the Revolution in command early. And there he was: Moreno the goalscorer.

But it didn’t take long for the magic to wear off. Shortly after his debut goal, Moreno found himself back on the trainer’s table. The ankle that limited him in Colombia was acting up. Again.

He returned to the lineup on June 16, but it’d be the last time he’d find the field. And even though the Revolution attack struggling mightly as the summer progressed, Moreno was nowhere to be seen on gameday. Not even in the first 18.

By August, it was clear: Moreno’s days were numbered. On Saturday, Ryan Lanigan tweeted that the Colombian would be waived. And two days later, it became official: the much-heralded signing was free to go.

It doesn’t take hindsight to realize how much of a mistake the Moreno signing was. From the start, the Revolution, coming off one of the worst season in franchise history, were understandibly anxious to sign a goalscorer, especially after they shed Rajko Lekic and Milton Caraglio.

And so Moreno was their hope. Even before he stepped foot in the U.S., they granted him the coveted 9 jersey. They plastered the image of the 9 jersey with “Moreno” on their site. The hopes were high. Too high, it turned out.

When Moreno’s interest in joining his new team cooled, the Revolution had two choices: drag him back here, or wash their hands of him. They went with the former, and it did no one any favors.

Granted, few could’ve predicted that Moreno would’ve been the malcontent he turned out to be. But even without the benefit of hindsight, his resume spoke volumes: eight clubs in 13 years. Not exactly a potrait of the ideal teammate.

Despite that, had he found a way to score goals (or stay healthy, at very least), he would’ve been forgiven. The pre-season episode would’ve been forgotten. He could have brooded all he wanted. And that would’ve been OK, so long as he was putting up the numbers to justify the extra effort it took to get him here.

Unfortunately for the Revolution and its core of loyal supporters, Moreno didn’t hold up his end of the bargain. Not even close.

The new number 9? Apparently, Moreno never got the memo.

8 Comments

  1. chiieddy

    August 7, 2012 at 10:43 am

    I have a suspicion NE couldn’t waive Moreno as per contract prior to 8/1 without monetary penalty. It looks to me like they did so as soon as they could and given the lead time, it looks like they had things cleaned up by end of business on the 3rd and just waited until Monday to announce.

  2. Mat

    August 7, 2012 at 11:08 am

    I think the above post got it right, if I had to make an educated guess. Also want to add: I’m glad to see this jerk leave this team. Good luck on your 15th club in 14 years, you punk. Hope this move improves the clubhouse vibe.

  3. Chris B

    August 7, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    The upcoming offseason just got interesting.

    I don’t think they’ll blow up the house by letting a lot of players go like last offseason as they are already releasing players now. In addition to a relatively high first round draft pick (I’m thinking anywhere between pick 7-4 optimistically), a few second round/supplemental picks and a couple re-entry picks, I’m thinking a few big signings will be made and maybe a few trades because as Heaps gains coaching experience he’s gonna have a better idea who he wants to trade and trade for.

  4. weefuse

    August 7, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Why were they ever interested in him in the first place? In his pre-MLS career he averaged a goal for every 4.36 matches played. In an MLS season that’s 8 goals- if he plays every match, which, based on his career history was unlikely. 6 goals would seem a more reasonable number. It gets worse if you do the math after his two good seasons with Millionarios & America de Cali. Since the second half of 2006 he had 20 goals in 107 matches- 1 goal for every 5.35 matches played. In MLS numbers that’s just over 6 goals a game if he plays every match, so more like 4-5 if he misses a few matches- which he always has.

    My point being, even if he was the most upstanding citizen to ever stand up, what did they hope to get out of him that they couldn’t get out of a player at half (or MUCH less) cost? I almost feel like his being a malcontent was punishment for the club thinking he was any good in the first place.

    • Chris B

      August 7, 2012 at 3:37 pm

      I agree. Moreno, Jeremiah White and, to a lesser extent, Dimitry Imbongo were the only Heaps signings where I really scratched my head and wondered why they were made.

  5. Robert

    August 9, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    With all the roster movement, I believe that leaves two open roster spots? Any rumors on filling the spots, or a better question – are there any trialists currently with the Revs? There isn’t much information regarding trialists with the club. The last rumor about a Revs trialist was Davide Zaboli, and that was a month ago. Does the team not release information about bringing in players, or do they just not bring in players? I figure the insiders who cover the team would be all over the information. Thank you

    • Chris B

      August 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      Defender trialists are coming but they usually remain unidentified to protect the players’/club’s interests.

  6. Robert

    August 10, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    It seems that Heaps and Burns are waiting on Bocanegra – especially after not using their allocation pick on Robles. I assume that if they don’t use it this season then their position at the top of the order does not carry into next season

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