Mired in a nine game winless streak with no end in sight, the New England Revolution desperately need new players to turn their season around. And no one knows that more than head coach Steve Nicol.
“We need some new faces, which we’re trying to do,” said Nicol after Sunday’s 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union.
The Revs did bring in plenty of new faces heading into the season, but many of them ended up being busts. Newcomers Michael Augustine and Didier Domi have already been released from the team and Ousmane Dabo has barely played while struggling with injuries. Last season’s midsummer signings Marko Perovic and Ilija Stolica are gone as well.
Argentine defender Franco Coria and draft picks A.J. Soares and Stephen McCarthy have been the only relatively successful new additions to the squad this season and they haven’t proven to be enough. The Revs need help across the field and there’s little time left to get it.
But, according to Nicol, the team is working to find those new faces. They’re just not having any luck.
“We made two offers over the weekend of which one we thought was done and the final hour we find out the player signed for someone else,” said Nicol. “That’s happened two or three occasions already over the course of the season – we’ve made offers, of which players have asked for and we’ve agreed to it, and the final minute they go somewhere else.”
That lack of successful signings is hurting the team in more ways than one. Not only does the team need more quality, but the current players are lacking the competition for spots to really push them to be their best in practice.
With the team in such poor form, players should be looking to show their best to prove they belong on the field, but it doesn’t seem to always be happening and it’s a problem not lost on veteran ‘keeper Matt Reis.
“I think everybody needs to realize that they’re playing for their jobs,” said Reis. “It‘s their livelihood. I think everyone is out here thinking everything is great and everything is fun but in the end if we keep sucking like this, then guys are going to be out of jobs.”
If this season’s made one thing clear, it’s that the Revs can’t count on foreign players coming in to save the team. Big potential signings fell through in the preseason and continue to fall through now as the Revs desperately seek help.
And whether or not help comes, the players that are here clearly need to be at their best if New England is to salvage something from this season.
“We’re fighting for our lives at this point,” said Chris Tierney. “We need three points and nothing less and we’re not playing like it. I think we’ve been getting on each other’s case a little bit, there’s frustration setting in, but at the end of the day we got to fight harder and work for each other and we seem to be doing the opposite right now. So, I think everyone needs to just take a long look in the mirror, including myself, keep plugging away and make it better.”