New England Soccer Today

Revolution Have Immediate Needs

Will the Revolution need to replace A.J. Soares this offseason? (Photo: Chris Aduama/aduamaphotography.com)

Will the Revolution need to replace A.J. Soares this offseason? (Photo: Chris Aduama/aduamaphotography.com)

Not even a week has passed since the Revolution’s loss in the MLS Cup final and there are already holes that need to be filled ahead of next season.

The Revolution needs depth at forward, particularly in the hold-up position, and at least one new option at center back. The Revolution could also use the off-season to track down a speedy and reliable crosser who plays exclusively in midfield, plus another strong, transition-oriented player to back-up Jermaine Jones.

Four forwards have left in the last week, with Geoffrey Castillion and Dimitry Imbongo going to Colorado to free up international roster slots and Patrick Mullins and Tony Taylor getting selected by New York City FC in the expansion draft. On the back line, the Revolution is negotiating a new contract with AJ Soares, though rumor has it he’s trying to use his Italian passport to pursue a career move to Europe.

The loss of Mullins, and the potential loss of Soares, are particularly problematic.

Mullins was still a mystery when head coach Jay Heaps substituted him into the MLS Cup for Charlie Davies. Was he a goal scorer or a hold-up player? He seems to have the characteristics of both. Earlier in the season he demonstrated the qualities of a poacher, but in the MLS Cup, in which he set up a Chris Tierney goal, he looked more like a Juan Agudelo-type.

That intriguing balance is now gone and the Revolution have to move to replace it. The Revolution might be able to find someone to fill that role in the SuperDraft, but they traded away their natural first round pick and would have to trade-up to have a shot at someone of Mullins’ caliber. The Re-Entry draft, the first stage of which begins today, might be a more suitable place to look.

Here are five potential Re-Entry draft options to fill the striker void

  • Edson Buddle- ($325,000) A league veteran with World Cup experience who can both hold-up the ball and score goals. His numbers have trailed in recent years, but at the right price, the Revolution may want to take a chance on what’s left in the 33-year-old’s tank. Disclaimer: Heaps may not like the fact that Buddle threw a punch at Matt Reis during a 2004 playoff game.
  • Kamani Hill- ($48,825) A former U.S. national team prospect that is in desperate need of a jumpstart to his career. Never looked the part in Colorado.
  • Robbie Findley- ($215,000) A U.S. World Cup veteran and once one of the most feared strikers in all of MLS.
  • Omar Cummings- ($250,000) A speedster, which the Revolution have only recently turned to in the offensive positions. A Revs killer and a league veteran—might be worth taking off the market.
  • Atiba Harris- ($181,500) Also a league veteran. He’s listed as a midfielder, but he’s very quick to join the attack and has a 6’3” frame that’s perfect for hold-up play.

All of the above salaries are courtesy of the MLS Players Union. Most salaries would have to be negotiated down to make sense for the Revolution, meaning the club would have to wait until Re-Entry draft stage two.

The other option would be scouting a new player overseas or making a trade with an MLS team, both of which Heaps and the Revolution brain trust have become increasingly good at doing. There’s also the possibility that the club’s recently forged relationship with Portugal’s Sporting CP could lead to a loan(s) that fill the club’s open spaces.

The Sporting CP route might be a best course to take with filling the potential void of Soares. A Portuguese center back would add a sense of understanding in language, tactic, and mentality for Jose Goncalves. However, Heaps could permanently switch Andrew Farrell to central defense and seek more depth at right back.

The Re-Entry draft doesn’t offer the Revolution as many enticing options in defense as it does for the offense.

The Revolution brain trust could also seek out another designated player to fill voids. Jones has a short contract, with next season being his last. And Jerry Bengston hasn’t put up the numbers either with the Revolution or on loan with Belgrano to merit him taking up a DP slot.

More dominos might fall and the off-season is becoming increasingly short with more drafts and preseason looming. And answers will have to come sooner rather than later.

2 Comments

  1. Robert

    December 13, 2014 at 11:21 am

    I don’t believe the Forward position answer lies in the re-entry draft; the options are not exactly tantalizing. The international, or trade options, would bring a much better solution to the lack of depth. Speaking of depth, the question of Centerback might be answered in the re-entry draft. Jeff Parke is available. He could play alongside Jose in the event Soares leaves. At the very least, Parke would bring depth and experience to the position. Another flyer could be Kyle Venter who was recently released by the Galaxy. A young player who could develop, especially from Goncalves and Heaps.

  2. brianmatthewlewis@gmail.com

    January 14, 2015 at 2:44 am

    Dimitry Imbongo doesn’t pay his bills. He’s dishonest.

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