New England Soccer Today

Who’s the Mystery DP?


On Tuesday, Revolution president Brian Bilello tweeted that the club had completed the signing of a designated player, but stopped short of revealing the player’s identity.

While Bilello said that additional details will follow in the coming weeks, it wasn’t long before speculation sparked about who the splashy signing could be, especially given the crumb of information concerning a pre-contract.

So who is the mystery footballer? Well, let’s take three guesses based upon what we know.

1. Cheick Tiote (Newcastle United). Tiote’s name popped up as a potential target in November when a British report connected him to the Revolution. At the time, the 29-year-old central midfielder was battling through injuries, and had apparently fallen out of favor with manager Steve McClaren as a result. Recently, the Ivory Coast international was slated to be moved to a Chinese club before it reportedly fell through. 

Why it makes sense: Tiote would fill an immediate need at the spot once held by Jermaine Jones, and has the pedigree to make a talented Revolution midfield even better.

Why it makes no sense: Despite the reported transfer hiccups, the stalled Tiote-to-Shanghai move looks like a situation very few MLS clubs would want to involve themselves in. Even without that rabbit hole, Tiote’s injury history evokes memories of former EPL and Championship veteran Kalifa Cisse, whose time in New England could easily be called a disappointment.

2. Ricardo Costa (PAOK FC of Greece). The Portuguese center back quickly became a possibility after he retweeted a suggestion that he was headed to MLS on Tuesday. At 34, Costa would appear to be the same kind of signing the Revolution is no hurry to make with midfielder Jermaine Jones. That said, the former FC Porto star would certainly move the needle given southeastern New England’s dense Portuguese population.

Why it makes sense: The addition of an experienced center back would certainly go a long way for a club whose defense was wildly inconsistent last year.

Why it makes no sense: Costa will be 35 in May, and there’s no telling how much mileage is left on legs that, at this stage of his career,  probably aren’t suited for playing on an artificial surface.

3. Uri Rossel (Sporting CP). Rossel first saw his name at the center of a potential move to the Revolution when a Portuguese outlet linked him to the Revolution while general manager Michael Burns and coach Jay Heaps were meeting with the Sporting brass in early-December. At 23, the rarely-used Rossel appears to be a prime candidate to re-join MLS, where he played 43 matches for Sporting Kansas City between 2012 and 2014.

Why it makes sense: Rossel is a proven commodity given the success he attained while at Sporting Kansas City. Plus, he’s got plenty of years ahead of him, and could probably step right into the Revolution midfield with few issues.

Why it makes no sense: The Spaniard’s spent much of his tenure in Lisbon buried on the bench, and it may take him some time to shake the rust off, a situation that wouldn’t be especially beneficial to the Revolution if the timetable of the unidentified designated player’s arrival is early-summer.

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