New England Soccer Today

Decisions, Decisions

Revolution head coach Jay Heaps has some decisions to make with respect to his roster. (Photo: Kari Heisad/

With three weeks of postseason training on the agenda, Jay Heaps and Mike Burns won’t have to make any roster decisions just yet. But it won’t be long before the duo get down to work on the 2013 roster.

Yes, the Revolution improved upon their franchise-worst 2011 form. Yet, there’s no question that the rebuilding process will continue during the winter.

So with the regular season in the rear view, let’s take a look at which players, by position, figure to be a part of that process – as well as those who may be looking for another club come January.


For years, Matt Reis has been a rock between the sticks for the Revolution. Years. Whether it’s making a big save or barking out instructions to his backline, the Revolution have relied upon the 15-year-veteran on countless occasions. But after his backup, Bobby Shuttleworth, took over for a brief, midseason spell, then finished off the final four games strong, it appeared that a changing of the guard was underway. Of course, Heaps and Burns will likely remain mum on what their plans are for Reis next season. One rumor has it that Reis fell one game short of a guaranteed option for 2013. So read into that however you wish. However, it’s pretty clear that it’s no longer a matter of if Shuttleworth will take over, but when. By the looks of it right now, the when may have already taken place. As for third-stringer Tim Murray, limited duty in reserve league action hasn’t produced exceptional results (0-3-0, 2.33 GAA), so job security at this juncture is anything but certain.

Probably sticking around: Bobby Shuttleworth
Might need to find another club: Matt Reis, Tim Murray


Say what you will about the back four giving up a few late-game goals. But the goals against stat dipped from 58 in 2011 to 44 in 2012, a 24% decrease. The reason: consistency, especially in the center. Despite some growing pains, A.J. Soares and converted center back Stephen McCarthy meshed well and strengthened the backline. On the wings, Chris Tierney quietly got the job done on the left, while right back Kevin Alston showed his versatility by switching sides when Tierney picked up a lingering knock late in the season. Then, there was Darrius Barnes, a projected starter prior to the season who lost his spot to John Lozano, then McCarthy as the season progressed. Nevertheless, when injuries took their toll in the rear, Barnes re-established himself as a starting caliber defender. Rookie Tyler Polak saw limited action with the first team, and a late-season injury prevented him from getting an extended look before the season finale.

Probably sticking around: Kevin Alston, Darris Barnes, Stephen McCarthy, Tyler Polak, A.J. Soares, Chris Tierney
Might need to find another club: Flo Lechner


In hindsight, it may have been by design that the Revolution carried so many midfielders throughout the season. Earlier in the season, the center half tandem of Clyde Simms and Shalrie Joseph provided the some much-needed stability, with Kelyn Rowe/Lee Nguyen and Benny Feilhaber on the wings. Eventually, though, Heaps dropped Joseph, slid Feilhaber centrally, as Rowe, Fernando Cardenas and Ryan Guy platooned on the right. Following the surprising trade of Joseph, it became Simms and Guy in the center, with Feilhaber and Nguyen out wide. After that, Simms and Feilhaber switched defensive duties, and well, you get the idea. It was a midfield in constant motion. But by season’s end, Simms established himself as the go-to guy at defensive mid, while Nguyen claimed the spot on the left as his before a shoulder injury shelved him for the season. Meanwhile, Feilhaber and Rowe showed flashes, but it was hardly the season envisioned by the former.

Probably sticking around: Diego Fagundez, Blair Gavin, Ryan Guy, Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe, Clyde Simms, Juan Toja
Might need to find another club: Fernando Cardenas, Benny Feilhaber, Sainey Nyassi, Alec Purdie, Michael Roach


When Heaps told the media last November that he wanted to attack, he meant it. So the Revolution went out and signed Jose Moreno, Saer Sene, Blake Brettschneider and Bjorn Runstrom, then added Jerry Bengtson and Dimitry Imbongo during the summer. The results: mixed, to say the least. Despite the hype surrounding Moreno, whom the club designated as its #9, he never panned out, and was cut in August after seven games, with only one goal to speak of. Similarly, Runstrom failed to provide much more than a late-game possibility until the club declined his mid-season option. Brettschneider scored a pair of quality goals, yet struggled to stay in the starting XI. On the other hand, Sene became the first Revolution player to hit double-digits in goals, with 11 to his name before a knee injury cut his season short. Bengtson, who was signed to a designated player deal, scored in his debut, but only added one more before the season came to a close, and a hefty price tag may prevent a return. Imbongo gave the club depth up top but little else, as he struggled to find consistency.

Probably sticking around: Saer Sene
Might need to find another club: Jerry Bengtson, Blake Brettschneider, Dimitry Imbongo


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