New England Soccer Today

The Long Hello

After a wait that’s lasted nearly seven weeks, Jose Moreno is expected to report to the Revolution on Thursday and participate in Friday’s training, according to the team’s staff writer.

On Wednesday, Revolution staff writer/online host Jeff Lemieux tweeted that Moreno, who was announced as the team’s new number 9 on Feb. 2, and newly-acquired defender Flo Lechner are expected to arrive in Boston on Thursday. If all goes according to plan, both would be eligible to play in Saturday’s home opener against Portland, “pending fitness and health.”

Moreno, who recently played with Colombian club Once Caldas, signed a loan agreement to play for New England in early-February and was due in Foxboro by Mar. 1. At least, that was the plan.

But shortly after his signing was announced, he reportedly told the official website of the Colombian first division that it was his desire to remain with Once Caldas. A team spokesperson stated shortly thereafter that the Revolution organization was “surprised” by Moreno’s comments.

A week later, Moreno stepped onto the pitch with the club and played 55 minutes before coming off with an apparent ankle injury. And for all intents and purposes, it appeared that Moreno’s first priority was the Manizales-based club.

Despite the fact that Moreno had not only continued to train and play with Once Caldas, Revolution general manager Michael Burns advised that the terms of the loan agreement did not preclude Moreno from extending his time with El Blanco – at least until Mar. 1. Burns also alluded to the idea that Moreno may have been misquoted in the report that hinted his intent on staying in Colombia.

But once Mar. 1 passed without Moreno in sight, more reasons were given for the striker’s no-show. The team said that Moreno’s estimated time of arrival was contingent upon obtaining his P-1 visa.  But shortly after he received it, Revolution president Brian Bilello tweeted that the Colombian goalscorer had been given additional time to report for what was deemed as a “personal matter.”

In the final analysis, there was nothing to suggest that the 6-0 target forward was prevented from commencing the process well before the official start of his loan deal. And no official reason was ever given for the striker’s tardy start to completing the requisite paperwork for his P-1 visa and International Transfer Certificate, which only served to draw the ire of Revolution supporters.

Now, it appears that the well-traveled striker, who’s bounced from eight different clubs in his 13-year career, will finally wear the paint-brushed stars and stripes before the end of the week. And the Revolution could certainly use him.

In the team’s first two matches, New England has yet to score a goal and head coach Jay Heaps has already tinkered with four different forwards.

Although it’s unknown how soon Moreno will be able to contribute, Heaps previously alluded to the idea that he’d like to have Moreno participate in a week’s worth of training before introducing him to match action.


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