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.