Bye, bye Benny.
On Friday, the New England Revolution declined its option on midfielder Benny Feilhaber, effectively ending the playmaker’s disappointing, two-season stint in Foxboro.
Feilahaber was among four players who had their options declined by the Revolution on Friday. Midfielders Fernando Cardenas and Blair Gavin, along with third-string goalkeeper Tim Murray, all had their options declined as well.
“After every season, we have to take a hard look at our roster and make some difficult decisions, both for personnel and salary budget considerations,” Revolution General Manager Michael Burns said in a statement on Friday. “In our case, we’ll continue discussions with some of the players we declined options on to see if the potential exists for them to return to the club next year.”
Feilhaber was acquired by the club in April 2011 via the allocation draft. While his propensity to make the killer pass was one of the few bright spots in a season that saw that Revolution sink to last place, his 2012 season was forgettable one, to say the least. In 29 games, the highest-paid player on the roster prior to Friday’s announcement rarely registered on the scoresheet (1 goal, 2 assists), and struggled with consistency.
The Revolution will continue to own his rights until a trade, transfer or new deal is arranged.
Cardenas featured in 27 games, scoring two goals and adding a pair of assists. He was signed by the club in January 2012, and showed glimpses of his playmaking potential. Yet, he was unable to truly establish himself in any of the positions that head coach Jay Heaps utilized him in.
Gavin, who was acquired in the Aug. 1 trade that jettisoned Shalrie Joseph to Chivas USA, struggled to make an impact after a hamstring injury delayed his Revolution debut. He featured in the final two games of the season. Although he acquitted himself well as a two-way player – albeit briefly - it appeared the club had other plans.
Murray signed with the Revolution in April 2010, but in his three season in New England, never featured with the first team in league action.
Gavin and Murray are eligible for the MLS Re-entry Process, which will start on Dec. 7.
Meanwhile, the Revolution also announced on Friday that they had picked up the options on 15 players: goalkeepers Matt Reis and Bobby Shuttleworth; defenders Kevin Alston, Darrius Barnes, Stephen McCarthy, A.J. Soares and Chris Tierney; midfielders Ryan Guy, Lee Nguyen, Sainey Nyassi, Clyde Simms and Juan Toja; and forwards Diego Fagundez, Dimitry Imbongo and Saer Sene.
Midfielder Kelyn Rowe and left back Tyler Polak, as well as forward Jerry Bengtson, were already under contract for 2013.
“We have retained a core group of players for next season and we’ll continue strengthening the team this off-season,” Burns said.
Taking into account the recent signings of midfielders Andy Dorman and Kalifa Cisse, the Revolution roster number currently stands at 20.