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?