Former D.C. United striker Blake Brettschneider is the latest free agent hoping to earn a spot on the New England Revolution for the 2012 season. Brettschneider is set to join the team on trial next week the Revs confirmed to New England Soccer Today on Thursday afternoon.
Brettschneider, a 22-year-old who can also play in midfield, played in 15 league games, including nine starts, for D.C. as a rookie in 2011. The 6-foot-0 University of South Carolina product tallied one goal and two assists in MLS play, but in a surprising move the promising youngster was waived by United on February 3rd.
Prior to joining D.C., Brettschneider had a stand-out senior year for the Gamecocks. In 2010, he scored 7 goals along with 10 assists for South Carolina and was named Conference USA Co-MVP and Co-Offensive Player of the Year. He also took part in a U.S. U-20 National Team camp in 2008.
Brettschneider, a 2011 MLS Combine participant, was drafted by United with its second round pick in the 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft. In addition to his 15 games for the first team, he appeared in nine reserve league matches with three goals, including two against the Revolution Reserves, and an assist as D.C.’s reserves finished the year 5-1-4.
Despite Brettschneider, as he himself put it, seemingly exceeding expectations for a Supplemental Draft pick and showing promise with nine starts as a rookie, D.C. waived him Friday. The club likely deemed him surplus to the requirements after signing both Albanian striker Hamdi Salihi and Brazilian forward Maicon Santos this offseason.
But D.C.’s loss could be the Revs gain. Regardless of whether Jose “Pepe” Moreno joins the team, the Revs are clearly lacking in forward depth. Brettschneider isn’t the cure-all for the Revs issues up top, but adding some promising depth at striker would certainly be a positive for the club.
Since being let go by D.C., Brettschneider has earned praise from various pundits surprised by the move. Both Washington Post reporter Steven Goff and Sporting News scribe Brian Straus pointed out the striker’s promise via Twitter, though Goff did add that Brettschneider “didn’t perform well at [D.C.’s preseason Florida] camp.”
Additionally, shortly after Brettschneider’s release, MLSSoccer.com’s Matthew Doyle tweeted “no way a guy with those No. 9 instincts should go unclaimed.” For a team that’s just learned its projected number 9, Moreno, might not be coming after all, that comment is reason enough to give the young forward a shot at making the team.