New England Revolution
The Boston Globe has reported New England’s Captain, Shalrie Joseph, has been dismissed from the squad’s Orlando training camp along with teammate Kevin Alston. Both players featured in Friday’s 2-0 win over the University of Central Florida, but have not appeared in training for the past two days. Though staff and players alike remain mum on the reason for the dismissal, the pair is expected to rejoin the club in Foxborough later in the week.
Be sure to catch your first glimpse of the 2011 New England Squad on ESPN this upcoming Wednesday! I will post a detailed analysis of the match afterwards.
As the preseason continues on, New England has begun working toward a finalized, 30-man roster. Last week, the club released an initial preseason roster of 26 players. This roster includes the five SuperDraft picks, two of the three Supplemental Draft picks (first pick Hunter Christiansen is finishing his studies at Tulsa) and several non-contract preseason invitees. The most notable exclusion from this roster is 16-year-old wunderkind Diego Fagundez, who signed a contract with the club and will play for the U-16 squad.
Stevie Nicol and the New England brass once again showed their collective eye for talent in snapping up five excellent picks in the 2011 MLS Superdraft. Here is a summary and brief analysis of the Revs’ selections:
Rd. 1 Pick #6: AJ Soares, Central Defender, University of California
Soares was a great choice for the squad. He started every match in his four years at Cal, making the All Pac-10 first team his senior year and the second team his junior year. He also scored ten goals and had four assists in those four years—not bad for a deep man. Though not terribly big at six feet tall, the MLS scouting report touts his defensive prowess: “A cerebral defender who… wins many early balls because of his ability to read the play before it unfolds … has a keen tactical sense, but is physical when needed … excellent in the air and can get forward as a target on set pieces.”
The 2010 season did not bring many good things for the New England Revolution. With the combination of the squad’s dismal 6th place finish in the Eastern Conference (and a horrendous away record), Shalrie Joseph’s off field troubles, and a patch-work starting eleven of too many unproven players, fans are quite understandably looking to put the blinders on and focus on the upcoming season, especially with the 2011 SuperDraft having just passed and the Marco Materazzi rumor mill still churning.
But before all the reviews of 2010 and all the projections of 2011, one piece of saddening, yet nostalgia-inducing, news must be properly addressed—the retirement of Rev’s legend Taylor Twellman. Twellman had a stellar career for the Revolution, with 101 career strikes he is the 5th leading scorer of all time in Major League Soccer, and he did it in only 174 matches (all with NE of course). He was a recognizable face in an often all too anonymous league. But his career was also marked by devastating injury and missed opportunities to meet his full potential. A series of head injuries hampered his decade-long career and virtually kept him on the sidelines since the 2008 season, forcing his retirement at only thirty years old. For all he did in MLS, he was never able to achieve the great heights one would expect of him on the international level. He played sporadically for the USMNT and while injury was certainly a culprit, he failed to impress Bruce Arena in the qualifiers leading up to the 2006 World Cup while fully fit.
With Twellman’s departure there will be perhaps a bigger hole in the hearts of the fans than in the squad itself. Though he was an instrumental player when healthy, his absence from the squad over the last few years has at least prepared the Revolution for this moment (though they have still failed to make effective signings). With one long-tenured star gone, we now hold dearly to Joseph and Matt Reis till their times come and look hopefully to the future for the rise of our next great on field stalwart and off field icon—perhaps he will come in the form of home-grown teenager Diego Fagundez.
To watch Twellman’s farewell press conference, click here.
The Revs started the 2010 season on a poor foot, struggling to create chances in a tedious match versus 2009 MLS cup runner up LA Galaxy Saturday. After falling behind in the 6th minute when Edson Buddle connected with a beautiful Landon Donovan cross to head home a goal, New England struggled to produce anything very exciting.
Some take aways:
Shalrie Joseph Shalrie Joseph Shalrie Joseph. My adage from last year looks to remain true in 2010, the Revs NEED Joseph on the pitch. Without out him Saturday the never really stood a chance.
New additions provide a silver lining – Rookie Zach Schilawski looked great at times and posed the biggest threat for LA defenders. GK Preston Burpo had a good game making a big stop in the last 10 minutes of play keeping the game manageable. With Matt Reis hurt and Brad Knighton taken by Philly in the expansion draft, the GK will be an important position to watch.
Mainstream recaps here:
Ok, the MLS and players have signed a 5-year collective bargaining agreement and the 2010 MLS season is a go!
With just one week until the Revs face off against west coast rivals, Galaxy, in LA, Let’s take a look back at key off season highlights.
11/25/09 – GK Brad Knighton taken by Philadelphia in the Expansion Draft. Sad to see, but not surprising. Knighton got a lot of playing time in 2009, and left an impressive impression. Matt Reis is great, but his injury problems and a downward trend in form make this hurt all the more.
11/11/09 – Jay Heaps announced his retirement.
1/14/10 – Revs trade Defender Chris Albright to NY Redbulls for 2 SuperDraft picks(31st and 48th overall)
1/14/10 – 5 players drafted at SuperDraft. From revolutionsoccer.net: “The New England Revolution selected five players in Thursday’s 2010 MLS SuperDraft, conducted at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. With the team’s top pick, the Revolution selected Zack Schilawski out of Wake Forest. The team then chose Seth Sinovic (Creighton), Zak Boggs (South Florida), Jason Griffiths (Kentucky) and Adam Welch (Lehigh).”
1/22/10 – Revs acquire GK Preston Burpo and D Cory Gibbs from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for midfielders Jeff Larentowicz and Wells Thompson. Burpo expected to play a big role this season with Reis struggling with injuries, and Knighton’s departure to Philly.
1/29/10 – Captain Steve Ralston leaves Revolution and MLS. One of the Revolutions best and most consistant players. It was hard to see him go.
2/22/10 – Revs sign Senegalese MF Niouky Desire. Steve Nichols has done a great job scouting African clubs/players in the past as evidenced by the success of Gambian players Nyassi and Mansally, Ghanan Osei, and Kelly Dube of Zimbabwe.
Ashwin sent me this video. A nice pump up for wc2010!
From Kyle J McCarthy
Revs are lucky to have Knighton as backup. I thought he played well at the beginning of the season. Reis is a champ, but i’ve felt like he’s been on the decline. Glad Knighton is getting some more caps.
Going into tonight’s game Rev’s should have a healthy roster, with the biggest question mark hanging over Edgar Jankauskus. From the Revs Blog
INJURY REPORT (As of Tuesday, September 1)
New England Revolution
PROBABLE: Brad Knighton (lumbar disc irritation), Kenny Mansally (L ankle sprain), Matt Reis (R leg contusion)
QUESTIONABLE: Edgaras Jankauskas (L adductor strain)
OUT: Chris Albright (L lateral meniscus tear/bone bruising), Taylor Twellman (Disabled List: concussion)
Kansas City Wizards
DOUBTFUL: Matt Marquess (knee strain)
OUT: Eric Kronberg (shoulder surgery), Kevin Souter (sports hernia surgery)