Tag Archive | "designated player"

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Episode 41 – The Midnight Ride vs The Boy Who Lived

Posted on 09 August 2011 by Hank Alexandre

In this episode of The Midnight Ride, Hank is joined by the original co-host, Sean Donahue of New England Soccer Today, and they discuss the New England Revolution’s new designated player, Milton Caraglio, and the boy who lived, Diego Fagundez. Also, preview of Columbus and a shakedown of the Revs playoff chances.

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Revs lose out on Marko; clear cap room

Posted on 01 July 2011 by Hank Alexandre

The New England Revolution parted ways with its 2010 MVP and leading goal scorer Marko Perovic on Thursday June 30th, along with his countryman Ilija Stolica.

The move occurred on the last day before guaranteed contracts kicked in for MLS, as players on the roster as of July 1st are guaranteed salaries throughout the rest of the season.

However, both Perovic and Stolica had contracts that were set to expire on June 30, with options for the team to extend them through the rest of the season.  Stolica, who had been loaned out in April, seemed destined to be cut as the deadline approached. But Perovic, who had suffered a season ending knee injury earlier this season, specifically asked for his contract option not to be picked up by the team.

To Marko’s credit, he was done for the season, and could have continued to collect salary while he recovered from his ACL surgery.  Asking for his release allows the Revolution to get cap room and roster relief.  Coupled with Stolica’s salary, the Revs now have a bit more wiggle room to try and sign a true impact player that can help the Revs reach the playoffs in October.

But who that player will be  is anybody’s guess. Looking at the Revs roster moves over the last three seasons, one has to wonder what it is about this MLS franchise and it’s inability to secure decent players. Jeff Larentowicz did not want an extension in 2009, and opted to be traded in 2010 to Colorado, where he signed a lucrative contract and won a championship. Stories of designated players who almost have signed but backed away have plagued this team since the “Beckham” rule went into effect. And now Marko has asked for and been granted his unconditional release.

Perhaps the reason has to do more with the teams infrastructure and technical staff than it does with MLS as a whole.  Steve Nicol is a Liverpool legend, but that only goes so far when your support staff and assistant coaches are made up of former college coaches and youth directors.  Hardly the infrastructure one would find in the top leagues in Europe.

Furthermore, Mike Burns, Vice President of Player Personnel, seems limited in his ability to attract and retain talent. This could be due to the ownership not providing him with the resources he needs, or it could be his own failing.  Regardless, it is his job to make sure the team has the players it needs to compete, and he has fallen short in that regard over recent years.

Stevie Nicol has already made multiple trips to Europe, Africa, and even Turkey.  Rumors are starting to form that a Designated Player could be on the way to New England.  One can only hope that Nicol has a player in mind that can make an immediate impact on the field. Hopefully that player is more akin to Perovic rather than Jankauskas or Niouky.

 

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Revolution fans anxiously await news

Posted on 31 January 2011 by Hank Alexandre

While the transfer season in Europe is coming to a close, New England Revolution fans are “patiently” awaiting news from the Revolution front office.

The Revolution are coming off of their worst season in recent memory letting in a league high 50 goals, while scoring an all time team low of 32.  Team ownership and management recognized the failed expectations of the club at the end of the season, and assured fans that they will be making the necessary moves to bring the team back into contender status.  And while the Revs have made significant improvements addressing the back line by adding Didier Domi and Ryan Cochrane, and signing 2nd year player to Seth Sinovic to a new contract, the team has yet to address the lack of scoring prowess so blatantly evident in the team for the last three seasons.

Fan expectations were raised last week when Brian Bilello, the Revolution’s Chief Operating Officer, stated via a post on Twitter that there should be some news on a pair of signings “in a week or so”.  Since then, the Revolution fans have been chomping at the bit in anticipation of whom the players might be, with speculation that one of the signings may be the teams first Designated Player coming over from Europe.

However, as the Revolution’s pre-season starts today in Foxboro, the team’s front office is remaining unsurprisingly tight-lipped about any possibility as to whom the signings may be, or if they are in fact coming.

Meanwhile, speculation on the part of the Revolution fans, once rampant, is growing faint as marquee players such as Robbie Keane, who had been linked with MLS newcomers Vancouver Whitecaps, are being snapped up by European teams also actively looking for scoring talent.  Keane, who was sent to West Ham United on loan for the rest of the season this past Sunday, had looked a likely target as he had fallen out of favor with his current club, and was looking for regular playing time.  Keane also had been urged by the Republic of Ireland’s national team manager, Giovanni Trapattoni, to look to MLS as an option if he could not find first team football in Europe.

But without Keane in the picture, Revolution fans are left to wonder who the signings will be, and if they will be the attacking players the team so desperately needs.  Names like Nuno Gomes and Alex (deSousa) will remain in the list of potential signings some fans would like to see, however the likelihood that the team will go after a big name at this stage looks unlikely.

Revolution fans can only wait and see what news, if any, will be forthcoming from Foxboro.

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The Corner Stoehr: The Rumored and the Real

Posted on 30 July 2010 by sstoehrst

When news broke today of the Revs’ acquiring Betu and Ilija Stolica, I had mixed feelings. The move is obviously a step in the right direction; the Revs really, really need to find goals from somewhere and both Betu and Stolica are attacking players with goals in them, certainly. We can’t sit back and hope that Perovic does something astounding or Schilawski puts one in at home and realistically expect to be anywhere near the hunt for the playoffs.

Stolica, particularly, has a history of bagging goals in his much-traveled career. Top sources (Wikipedia) tell me that Ilija scored 7 goals in 11 appearances in half a season with Buducnost this season, which is no small feat in anybody’s league. He was very good back in Serbia and also fairly productive in both Belgium and Ukraine. At 31 he’s probably entering the decline of his career but his size (6’1”) and experience should be a huge benefit to the Revs’ strike force for the next few months.

Despite a decent enough CV, Stolica pales in comparison to the moves made recently by the Revs closest rivals in the East. Chicago signed Mexican international Nery Castillo, and just today it was announced that they traded draft picks to Seattle for Freddie Ljungberg. New York added Thierry Henry, and is expected to announce Rafa Marquez any day now. DC added Montenegro captain Branko Boskovic and Toronto snapped up Spanish striker Mista. All of these were DP signings and should vastly improve their respective teams’ offenses.

The Revs are already almost bottom of the table in the East. Stolica and Betu may represent improvement, but in the face of the overwhelming talent now saturating the rosters of most of their nearest competitors, New England can’t really expect to catch anyone they’re trailing.

Amidst this suddenly very interesting “silly season,” more rumors of possible DP signings have been flying around. Dave Checketts hinted that Ronaldinho would be landing in LA, although it seems that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Stern John was apparently all but signed by Columbus until his recent injury, and several names (Geovanni, Luis Garcia, Zvonimir Vukic, Nuno Gomes) have been revealed as having had talks with MLS about crossing the pond.

Not all of these last four players were linked with particular clubs, but surprisingly, Nuno Gomes is rumored to have spoken with the Revolution.

Mandatory Credit: Stu Forster /Allsport

Taking a moment to analyze the situation, Nuno Gomes actually fits the bill for Mike Burns’ party line on Designated Player signings. He would absolutely help the product on the field – he’s scored 160 goals in two stints with Benfica and 29 goals in 77 appearances for Portugal – and would likely make a huge splash in the prominent Portuguese population in the Boston area.

There are definitely questions surrounding this move. Do the Revs have the cap space? They seem to complain of a lack of available salary an awful lot but nobody on that squad besides Reis, Joseph, and Twellman makes that much. The bigger issue is roster space, as someone would have to be cut for the Revolution to make room for him.

There are certainly several players that would be no huge loss if they were gone. Should Jankauskas recover from his injury anytime soon, releasing him would be the best move the Revs have made all year. It’s safe to say the Joseph Niouky experiment is probably a failure; he could go. Pat Phelan’s versatility and determination are valuable but in the end, no fans would be particularly upset if he was shown the door. Players like Mansally and Colaluca have underperformed or not performed at all, and for a player of Gomes’ caliber could be worth losing.

This situation is really a litmus test for the honesty of the New England brass. If they truly are committed to only bringing in a DP that improves the product on and off the pitch, then they should be very seriously looking into Nuno Gomes. At 34 he’s probably only worth a contract through next season at DP dollars, but his undeniable talent would probably mean at least three or four extra wins this season and who-knows-how-many next year.

Regardless, major changes are afoot in Major League Soccer and it’s time the Revolution stepped up to the plate and made a move. This season certainly depends on it, and the next few might, too.

Please feel free to leave any and all questions or comments below!

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It’s official: Thierry Henry is a New York Red Bull!

Posted on 14 July 2010 by ASN Staff

Red Bull New York announced today that it has signed star French forward Thierry Henry to a multi-year contract as its second designated player. Henry, a World Cup, European Championship and UEFA Champions League winner, will be available for selection for New York pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and after the July 15 international transfer window. His debut for the Red Bulls is expected to be on July 22 against English Premiership club, Tottenham Hotspur, in the Barclays New York Challenge at Red Bull Arena.

“It is without question that Thierry Henry is one of the most successful and recognizable soccer players over the past 15 years,” said Dietmar Beiersdorfer, Head of Red Bull Global Soccer. “We are thrilled that Thierry has decided to come to New York to help the Red Bulls compete for championships this year and for years to come. His international pedigree is second to none and he is a proven winner.”

“This marks an exciting new chapter in my career and life,” Henry said. “It is an honor to play for the New York Red Bulls. I am fully aware of the team’s history and my sole goal during my time here is to help win the club its first championship. Knowing Red Bull’s significant commitment to soccer locally and internationally, I am confident that my teammates and I will succeed.”

Henry will be introduced at a press conference tomorrow at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.

The former FC Barcelona, Arsenal, Juventus FC and AS Monaco striker known for his sublime technical ability, sharp acumen and nose for goal, most recently represented France in the World Cup for a record fourth time. Henry, a member of the 1998 World Cup-winning side and leading scorer, has scored a national-record 51 goals and earned 123 caps for his country. Henry also helped France win the 2000 European Championship and the 2003 Confederations Cup.

“Thierry is not only a world class player who will undoubtedly improve our squad, but he has shown most importantly throughout his career that he is a winner,” said Erik Soler, Red Bull New York General Manager and Sporting Director. “He has made it clear to us that he is committed in the short and long term to help in our vision of making our organization the premium franchise in Major League Soccer.”

Famous for his trademark “14” jersey, Henry most recently played for FC Barcelona, where he scored 49 goals and had a successful stint with the Catalan side. In his first season, Henry was the top scorer and led the team with 19 goals. A year later he went one better not only scoring 26 goals but being an integral part of the squad that went on to win six championships – the UEFA Champions League, La Liga Title Copa del Rey, Spanish Supercup, UEFA Supercup and the FIFA Club World Cup.

Prior to joining FC Barcelona, Henry played for London-based club, Arsenal FC. Henry rose to legendary status with the Gunners, becoming the club’s all-time leading goal scorer with 226 goals from 1999-07. The French marksman was the top scorer in the English Premiership (2002, 2004-06) a record four times and helped his club win the Premiership championship in 2002 and 2004. The 32-year-old also helped lead his team to three English FA Cups and he won the European Golden Boot in 2004 and 2005.

During Henry’s first season, he recorded 26 goals – an indicator of his future success with Arsenal. In the 2003 and 2004 seasons, Henry was a runner-up for the FIFA World Player of the Year and was the first-ever back-to-back winner of the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year. In 2005, Henry was given the Captain’s Armband and became the club’s all-time goal scorer with a brace against Sparta Prague on Oct. 17, snapping Ian Wright’s previous record of 185. He again was named the Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year, becoming the only player to win the award three times.

Player Fact file

#14 Thierry Henry
Pronunciation: TYAIR-ree ahn-REE
Position: Forward
Height: 6-2
Weight: 183
Day of Birth: Aug. 7, 1977 in Les Ulis, France
Hometown: Paris, France
Previous Professional Club: FC Barcelona (Spanish La Liga)
Status: Designated Player
How Acquired: Signed by New York on July 14, 2010

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Red Bulls acknowledge second DP arrival after World Cup

Posted on 05 June 2010 by ASN Staff

The New York Red Bulls handed out flyers after tonight’s 1-0 victory over Chivas USA, which acknowledges a second designated player is coming to Red Bull Arena. But it doesn’t say who. As you can see below, the flyer states the team “are set to add one of the best players in the game during the summer transfer window.” Let the speculation begin–or, we should say, continue.

©Scott Marsh/ASN

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