Monday, July 11, 2016

New England: A Couple Pieces from Greatness?

It's part of what we all want, isn't it, in our sadness?
I read an article by the The Armchair Analyst, Matt Doyle, in which he broke down the transfer-window needs of every team in Major League Soccer. What he wrote about New York City FC, in particular, really caught my eye:
"Work the phones trying to unload one of their youngish guys with potential (Steven Mendoza, Patrick Mullins, Khiry Shelton) or – if anybody wants him – midfielder Mix Diskerud for a starting-caliber center back."
First of all, do you feel about an opportunity where part of the compensation includes an opportunity to get out from under that inflated contract? If so, we can talk. If not...

Odd as it might be to argue this the week after a team picked up an encouragingly comprehensive win, but, if you switch around a couple names, that same argument applies to the New England Revolution and, as I see it, with bells on. Doyle's piece goes on to argue in favor of bringing back an out-of-contract A. J. Soares, but that's just something I'd encourage most MLS teams to consider (yes, even Portland).

New England, though, comes close to topping MLS when it comes to "boasting" a team that's less than the sum of its parts. Put another way, New England has no small number of players that no small of teams around MLS would coveteth, and rightly so. Given the funk they're in, a shaking shit up just to rattle some cages makes as much sense as anything Jay Heaps and his overlings/underlings could do right now. More to the point, they've got players at the right age and with enough upside, that I can see New England getting real returns for some of them – and that's good, even if the value only shows up in 2017.

Someone like, say, Lee Nguyen you don't ship without fucking great reason, but New England has a bounty of options, some of which overlap enough to beg questions – e.g. they could move Kelyn Rowe (regular starter; should find takers), or Diego Fagundez (not a starter, but who would go tomorrow), without fundamentally changing what the team does and how. I think the reverse dynamic would apply to their former starting forwards, Charlie Davies (probably still find takers) and Juan Agudelo (um...), both of whom now live within the shadow of Kei Kamara and a couple too many years of not quite getting there. And I think they should be able to find a home/decent return on a man who has provided literally thankless cover all over like, Andrew Farrell (shouldn't be hard to move, but...).

I'm not saying this'll be easy, but the Revs do have specific needs – specifically, a solid centerback, but maybe also a different kind of forward, or maybe a different kind of midfielder...maybe clear cap space, or whatever dumb shit teams in MLS in search of the perfect face-lift.

Anyway, the title gets at the argument I'm making: the Revs aren't far from being a good team, and for a number of years. For what it's worth, I think they're stagnating now and, with the core of this team getting older every season, times a-wastin'.

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