New England Soccer Today

Exploring the Possibilities: Harry Kewell

Over the course of the week, New England Soccer Today will examine a trio of players that may be targeted by the New England Revolution during the summer transfer window, which opened on July 15th. While the Revolution have revealed little in terms of which players has been targeted, three possibilities have emerged. In the first part of this series, Julian Cardillo spotlights Harry Kewell, the former Galatasary midfielder who’s been long-rumored as a potential transfer target by the Revs.


Steve Nicol’s April trip to Europe could have found a viable target for the Revolution to go after in the summer transfer window.  Harry Kewell was playing in Turkey for Galatasary during Nicol’s trip and has since become a free agent, opening up the possibility of him coming to MLS and joining the Revolution.

The Revolution, who currently sit in last place in the Eastern Conference, have watched their offense stagnate this season, scoring just 16 goals in 19 games.  The mid-season arrival of Rajko Lekic has led to just three goals while service from the wings has remained scant, at best.  The Revolution have been shut out eight times this season, due in large part to the fact that the team has struggled to find a tactical formation that produces consistent attacks or keeps the ball.

Add the departures of Marko Perovic and Ilija Stolica, plus the over-dependence on club captain Shalrie Joseph to steer the offense, and it’s clear: the Revs’ attack is in serious crisis.

So the prospect of signing Kewell, an Australian-born player and a veteran of two World Cups, may be exactly what the Revolution need.  Kewell is one of Australia’s most dynamic players, able to play on the wing or as an attacking midfielder.

Kewell also has fifteen years of international experience under his belt, playing for Leeds United, Liverpool, and Galatasary.  He has 16 goals in 54 caps with the Australian national team with additional stints for the under-17 and under-20 sides.

Naturally, the Revolution wouldn’t be the only party interested in Kewell if they have, in fact, spoken with him.  Reports say that Kewell could also return to his native Sydney to play in the Australian league or the Premier League to play with Newcastle United.

“The future for me personally is undecided right now,” Kewell told Turkish TV earlier this year. “I will make up my mind at the end of the season.”

Kewell’s professional career got started from a young age. At age 15, he was  invited to trial with Leeds United in 1994 after traveling with the Marconi under-14 Stallions to Italy, Thailand, and England.  Leeds later added Kewell to their senior roster in 1995.  Kewell remained with Leeds until 2003, though he commanded a £2.5 million bid from Inter Milan in 2002.

Kewell scored 45 goals in 181 appearances for Leeds before joining Liverpool in 2003, rejecting big offers from Manchester United, Milan, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Barcelona.  He joined Galatasaray in 2008 after injuries hampered him in the English Premier League.

Of course, the Revolution are no strangers to injury-ridden talent, having a deep injury list the past three seasons.  But, it’s worth noting that Kewell has managed to stay injury-free since 2008, and in the process, has scored 33 goals in 86 appearances with Galatasary.

Kewell, known today by many in the soccer media as “Australia’s finest football export,” could be the player that helps open the Revolution’s offensive floodgates should New England prove to be his next destination.

In last week’s post-match press conference, Nicol retiterated his club’s need for new players. Perhaps Kewell is one of those players the gaffer has in mind?

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15 Comments

  1. Australian

    July 20, 2011 at 10:10 am

    No. Harry Kewell in … America? You have no understanding of football do you?
    Harry has offers from the A-League not the Australian League. There are two main ones that are the most likely: Sydney FC or Melbourne Victory. Sydney has home town etc but Kewell hasn’t been there for 16 years. The Melbourne is likely because of they have offered high Profile players Carlos Hernandez (Real Salt Lake trial) and Robbie Kruse has gone to Germany, which frees up money. The A-League offers 3 players to be paid outside of the salary cap, Overseas, Australian and Youth. Melbourne have money, the third is Brisbane Roar (10-11 Champions) who have neither money or City advantage but the FFA is helping fund any move for Kewell, the only option for Roar’s chance is if they are bought from FFA (Owners collapsed). Now that I’ve given your valuable background on the Australian Football background. Harry wants not a base salary but 70% of extra tickets sold because of him. Only stopping Kewell from slaying the A- League is his Bernie Mandic, his manager and bloody w**ker.

    • Sean Donahue

      July 20, 2011 at 12:10 pm

      We’re well aware it’s called the A-League, but we’re writing for mostly an American audience and there was once, not so long ago, an A-League here. He was just trying to keep it simple and avoid confusion.. Note the lowercase l in league denotes it’s not the proper name… Kewell may likely end up in Australia, but he has, reportedly, expressed interest in playing in America before and was linked to a summer MLS move back in April, so it’s not so far fetched as you make it sound.

  2. Julian

    July 20, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    While I’m sure Kewell would not mind playing in Australia I would caution you to think that his homecoming is a done deal. Kewell has been rumored to be an MLS target for about four years. The US has gained soccer appeal around the world and if someone was to cough up the money, Kewell could very well find himself here. Given the trail the Revolution have left in their scouting, we can assume that since Kewell is a free agent he is a viable target.

  3. F**k off yanks

    July 21, 2011 at 1:03 am

    Go and play baseball and pretend you’re winning wars and leave FOOTBALL alone

  4. dingyv03

    July 21, 2011 at 3:56 am

    Sorry guys, he’s coming back to Australia. If youve heard that he might come to the US, then im afraid youve just been played by the best…Bernie Mandic

  5. Australian

    July 21, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Yeah American football is a joke. Your national league is called ‘Major League Soccer’ you don’t even call football! Yeah Asutralian football is faaaaaaaaaaaar behind Rugby, AFL and pokies but least we back it properly.

  6. Jim

    July 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Uh, “back it properly” you say? North Queensland Fury playing another game anytime soon? And isn’t your national team nicknamed “The Socceroos” pal? Nice try, but you fail. MLS is bigger than the A-League by any measure you’d like to use.

  7. Chris B

    July 21, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    The Aussies just don’t want to face facts that Kewell might snub their league for ours!

  8. AussieTim

    July 22, 2011 at 4:00 am

    Sorry about some of the comments posted earlier, giving you a guys a bad impression of us “Aussies”, and I guess it is a possibility, don’t know how real, that he could play with the Revolution.

    • Chris B

      July 22, 2011 at 8:33 pm

      Thank you for saying that. I always liked Australians and I was honestly directing that comment at a few people and I didn’t realize at the time that others might take that comment offensively. I really do respect the A-League and hope it and MLS can grow rapidly and successfully and in all seriousness I don’t think Kewell will be coming to MLS let alone the Revs and I’m okay with that it probably would be better for Australia as a growing soccer/football nation to have Kewell join the A-League.

  9. Australian

    July 22, 2011 at 5:59 am

    Yeah, North Queensland was horrid.. But they learnt from that, thankfully a second Sydney team doesn’t exist. So 1 Australian team failed, how many American MLS have failed? Miami Fusion…? Tampa Bay…? “Socceroos ran by Football Federation of Australia” At least they corrected themselves. Kewell… I have not heard anything knew from his corner for a while, new Viduka? Probably, shame when you buy Kewell you get Mandic as well. I really want him to come to the A-league, but his ’70/30%’ deal is retarded. Maybe Gala or QPR but never MLS.

    • Sean Donahue

      July 22, 2011 at 10:58 am

      The A-League is entering it’s 7th season and has had two teams fail.. How about the New Zealand Knights? The league has 10 teams and averaged just over 8,000 fans per game last season. MLS lost Tampa Bay and Miami in 2001, but has gained 8 (soon to be 9) teams since and has 18 teams, while averaging over 17,000 fans per game this season. The league is now in it’s 16th season. You could say the leagues were at comparable places at 7 years, though MLS was averaging 15,000 per game at the time.

      In other words, I’m not sure what your point is…

  10. Australian

    July 23, 2011 at 10:26 am

    my point is Kewell is money grabbing but has an image so, he won’t go to Asia, Middle East, America or anywhere in the world were they ruined football with money. Your point crowds? Australia only has 20 million people, crowds are irrelevant.

  11. Julian

    July 26, 2011 at 12:28 am

    Population has nothing to do with it. Remember Australia had a World Cup bid this fall. I’m sure many of the 20 million would have filled your stadiums for a World Cup- even for USA matches which feature- you guessed it: MLS players.

  12. Australian

    July 31, 2011 at 3:10 am

    Yeah of course, Australians love World Cups be it Rugby, football or cricket. When the Socceroos play the get 100,000 people to the MCG when Gold Coast United give out free tickets they can’t even get 5000

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