On to 2004

Discussion in 'New England Revolution' started by Soccer Doc, Nov 15, 2003.

  1. Soccer Doc

    Soccer Doc Member+

    Nov 30, 2001
    Keene, NH
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    One of the things about a playoff system is that all teams except one get to go home sad. Officially: I'm sad. OK. now I'm ready to move on to look at what the Revs need to do over the winter so that in 2004 they are the last team standing.

    I think we have a winner for a coach and the Rev roster is the best we've ever had. There are no players that will be "easy cuts" to make way for new additions. We have two first round draft picks (#8 and #10) as well as an Allocation (for selling Hernandez). We have all learned to not discount the later rounds in the draft. Cap may be a big issue. Trades, discoveries will add to the excitement.

    So who stays and who goes?
    What are the Revs biggest needs?

  2. JohnnyRev

    JohnnyRev Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Boston, MA
    I think the Revs first need is a young, speedy left winger with skills, to back up Kamler and replace him when Kam is out. Jason Moore just isn't the guy. He has speed but no skills.

    I know -- easier said than done.
  3. JohnnyRev

    JohnnyRev Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Boston, MA
    BTW - check out the "Yank kid at Torino" thread on the "Yanks Abroad" board. 20 year-old phenom American/Brazilian kid name Carlos Elliott re-discovered playing in obscurity in Italy.
  4. TMurray

    TMurray New Member

    Oct 5, 1999
    I am not enthusiastic about Fabbro or the Kamte brothers, but I would like to see Moore stay as I think he has potential in him yet.

    Revs have also to start finding potential replacements for Joe Max and Llamosa.
  5. NateP

    NateP Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    Plainfield, NH, USA
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well put George. The king is dead, long live the king.

    Looking to next year it is tough to make too many projections this early. The possible expansion of Chivas and Rochester for next year will have a HUGE bearing on what we need to do. But let's assume that they can't pull that together in time so we don't have to worry about an expansion draft.

    I'll start with the Developmental roster:
    TF3 - is definately too old next year and will have a tough time (to be generous) winning a full roster slot so he's gone.
    Bagley - showed some promise but should also be too old (5/80) to stay on the DR. If, and it's a big if, MLS is lenient with the rules and allows players who are 23 for part of a season (as opposed to for the whole season as the rule seems to be written) to be on the DR then he stays. If he has to be on the full roster he probably goes back to Charelston for another year.
    Singer - same boat as Bagley. If he can stay on the DR he's safe, otherwise he needs to beat out Reis for the backup GK slot on the full roster.
    Downing - Only qualifies for the DR if he stays P40. I have no clue what the rules for that are, but if he 'graduates' from P40 he'll have a to earn a full roster slot as a backup defender and I'm not sure he'll be able to.
    Leonard - safe on the DR for another year. He's earned a full roster slot but if we can keep him stashed here it gives us more flexibility. Maybe Krafty can find some "consultant" money to funnel him under the table.
    I. Kante - ?? He's safe on the DR for another year but I haven't seen near enough to know if he belongs on the roster. If he earns his place there he stays.

    On the Senior roster I'll break it down by position:
    Brown - untouchable
    Reis - back if he wants to. I doubt he has much trouble beating out Singer to be the number 2.
    Pierce - untouchable
    Franchino - probably back but Leonard will push him for PT and evetually take over IMO.
    Llamosa - probably back, but like last year salary may become an issue. There were times this year he scared the hell out of me, other times he was a rock. I think we can get one more good year out of him but the money will need to be right.
    Heaps - much the same as Llamosa. Sometimes he was good, other times he scared me to death. He's back but I'd love to see a good young RB to push him and maybe take over.
    D. Kante (SI) - probably back but will have to earn the backup CB job.
    Cancela (SI) - untouchable
    Ralston - untouchable
    Joeseph - untouchable. capped by Grenada but not listed as an SI or GC holder, presumably he has his citizenship which helps us.
    Kamler - should be back, has been solid the last two seasons and should have a couple more in him. We do need cover for him though.
    Cullen - good cover at MF and D, should be back if he's ok with being a squad player instead of a starter and the money is right.
    Ja Moore - Most likely of the bunch to go. He's ok as cover but I can see him being beaten out for the spot.
    Twellman - untouchable
    Noonan - untouchable
    JMM - probably back, but this season was a disappointment due to injuries and lack of production in his stints when healthy. He's most likely back but I won't be shocked if he ends up as a cap casualty either.
    C. Brown - nice cover as a forward or wide MF but will have to earn his spot.
    Fabbro (SI) - before the late season run I thought he was a goner. Now, he's earned the chance to defend his spot, though I'm not sure we want an SI as our 4th forward.
    Westfield (TI?) - ?? we still have his rights so he may come in and be next years Joseph or Leonard. Will have to beat out one of JMM, Brown or Fabbro for a backup forward role.

    What do we need:
    I think we need to get a backup left wing to replace Ja Moore, a center back, a right back, a good P40/DR center mid to develop as cover, possibly a DR forward and keeper. We'll most likely have 4 DR slots to make use of so it would be nice to get P40's to fill them if possible. Otherwise we need college players that can compete for full roster slots against Ja Moore, D. Kante, Cullen, Heaps, Fabbro or C. Brown. Whoever we add I think we need to improve our team speed, particularly at the back, either through trades or the draft.
  6. Mike Marshall

    Mike Marshall Member+

    Feb 16, 2000
    Woburn, MA
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What I would do:

    1. Dump Downing, Fabbro, Frias, Llamosa, and Joe-Max. Fabbro's a SI who's nothing special, and honestly - we need more speed up top off the bench. Carlos and Joe-Max are both veterans, and I'd sort of like to find a way to keep both of them, but at the same time, cutting ties to expensive, aging veterans is the way teams stay under the salary cap.

    2. Listen to trade offers for C. Brown, Cullen, Franchino, Heaps, Kamler, D. Kante, Leonard, and Reis. These guys are all good players, but none of them are quite good enough where we should pass up a chance to get better.

    3. Take the allocation and sign a replacement for Llamosa. I love Carlos - really. But our back line is begging for someone with a little more speed and ability in the air. I think this is Steve Nicol's biggest challenge in the off-season -- finding the Pepe Cancela for his defense.

    4. Use the first two picks on a forward with speed, and an understudy to Brian Kamler. I think it's important that we find a home-run hitter off the bench late in games. That whole sequence towards the end of the MetroStars game last week was embarrassing. And against a team like Chicago, we've GOT to be able to stretch them out. Just to throw out some names - Sumed Ibrahim (Maryland), Philip Hucles (William and Mary), Chris Wingert (St. John's), Jeremiah White (Wake Forest), and Joseph Ngwenya (Coastal Carolina).

    That leaves us with a roster that probably looks like this on Opening Day:

    GK (3): A. Brown, Reis, Singer

    D (6): Mr. Allocation, Pierce, Heaps, Franchino, Leonard, D. Kante

    M: (7): Cancela, Joseph, Ralston, Kamler, Cullen, #10 Draft Pick, J. Moore

    F (5): Twellman, Noonan, C. Brown, #8 Draft Pick, I. Kante
  7. Feldspar

    Feldspar Member+

    Nov 19, 1998
    Boston, MA
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Totally agree, except I think we need to find an understudy to Steve Ralston as well. Steve's clearly past his prime, and while he's still a starter, it'd be nice to have someone learning from him in 2004 with an eye toward taking over in 2005.

    Also FWIW, the #9 and #10 picks in the Superdraft are determined by the MLS Cup results, not league standing. If Chicago loses to KC/SJ, they (and thus the Revs) would end up with the #9 pick.
  8. Soccer Doc

    Soccer Doc Member+

    Nov 30, 2001
    Keene, NH
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  9. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Member+

    Apr 25, 2000
    SE Mass
    Let me say this about that.

    There are a number of things we BSers would like to know at this point, but will not soon if ever.

    How many players need to return to keep the Nicol-taught system at its current level?
    How much does SN value each players' contribution to the locker room atmosphere?
    How much does each player see themself as a Rev now and forever? Who really doesn't care?
    Who is realistically available? Are there any currently Europe-based players who want to come back and could be "discovered"?
    Could the Hernandez allocation and next years' discovery be rolled into one cash lump to make a bigger bid - say, for Cory Gibbs (I know, we can't afford him, MLS doesn't like him, etc.)?
    Things we will know sooner or later:

    What did we get for Serna?
    What is the value of the Hernandez allocation?

    That said, I would take a different tack than Mike, though I agree with all his points. I would keep everyone, and base decisions only on who is available to be signed, and how much everyone costs.

    My priorities (for now):

    1) central defender - If CL makes it one more year, it will be his last. DK needs to be pushed, preferably by a non-SI.

    2) left mid - I hope Kam decides that he wants to stay. He is the ideal utility player, but increasingly looked tired toward the end of the season.

    3) right back - Heaps excels at moments, but was never more exposed than in the Chicago match. His man-marking is not championship caliber.

    4) forward - JMM's anticipation and footskills in Jamar Beasley's body. Maybe his name will be Dimelon :).
  10. Tea Men Tom

    Tea Men Tom Member

    Feb 14, 2001
    In general, I think this season has shown that there are some good young players around the league who can play -- even if they haven't seen significant playing time.

    That might mean some pretty good veterans get let go who can really help out in terms of giving the Revs more depth -- if they're willing to play for relatively short money.

    Of course, expansion is going to play a role as well since that issue is anything but settled.

    That being said, I think we've likely seen the last of Joe Max, Fabbro, Cullen and probably Jason Moore as far as their Revs careers go.

    I hope they find a way to keep Llamosa because as we saw last night, he can still play when it counts. I hope Franchino sticks around too. He and Pierce are the heart and soul of that team.
  11. soren_k

    soren_k New Member

    Oct 28, 2001
    Mike have you heard anything about Brown or maybe Twellman heading overseas? Adin's had a lot of quotes in the paper indicated he'd like to make the move.

    Also, I think you've got to hang on to Llamossa for one more year. From what I understand he is not breaking the bank, and he was huge last night.
  12. socdoc

    socdoc New Member

    Mar 30, 2002
    CapeCod MA
    An attacker with speed and holding ability is crucial. Ngwenya (who excelled in this role in the PDL) is worth a look. Twellman, Noonan, C Brown, and JMM are too similar to work well together and two should go. Fabbro is a better holding and passing player than the other forwards but given his lack of speed and shooting skill he can be upgraded as well.

    In midfield, Joseph is a mixed blessing. He controls the center well and forces other teams to play wide, but he does not provide much wide support when the outside mids go forward, he checks back very poorly when play gets behind him. Ralston, in particular, has had to cut back his offense to compensate. Forcing play wide also puts pressure on our outside defenders (not the team's strongest suit). Certainly Joseph will improve, but a switch to central defense would be worth trying if another strong alternative at Dmid could be acquired. A back-up right mid is also a priority, Noonan didn't show much in that role this season.

    I doubt there will be much change in defense, other than replacing Downing with a young backup for Heaps, unless an attractive trade for an experienced right defender can be made sending Heaps and JMM in return (unlikely).
  13. dl

    dl New Member

    Sep 16, 2000
    Cambridge, MA
    A young central defender with some speed has to be priority #1.

    #2 is Depth (primarily on the left side of midfield).

    I don't know what the cap room looks like and who has to go as a result, but I'm pretty happy with the set of forwards that we have when healthy. I think I'd take our healthy starting 11 against anybody else's in our league.
  14. Jim Dow

    Jim Dow New Member

    Mar 20, 1999
    Belmont, MA
    Socdoc makes a very important point re. Shalrie and the outside mids, esp. Ralston. If you remember the absolute hot streak that Ralston played in the Gold Cup and Confed Cup (admittedly, mostly against opposition below MLS level) and how his form seemed indifferent offensively both before and afterwards, it might be wise to heed Socdoc's analysis. Joseph is a terrific player but his style does, at present, require some cover to the outside rear. Kamler and Ralston did just that, and very well too. But neither of them are fast enough to go both ways and be equally effective at either end. And, in fact, outside of maybe DMB, there aren't any players in MLS who could perform in such a way.

    So our offense, which was outside oriented w. Hernandez and Cullen had to gear down to suit the new "inside" combo. Not a bad tradeoff but a tradeoff, nonetheless.

  15. eric_appleby

    eric_appleby Member+

    Jun 11, 1999
    Down East
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'll try to condense this.
    JMM is toast. He hasn't been able to stay healthy for a number of years, and we need his cap money.

    Llamosa is a keeper. He can be effective for several more years at his position.

    The spine of the team is strong. Improvements can be made at the wide positions, and , of course, depth. But, basically, we don't have to blow the team up, like we did for the first 6 seasons.
  16. TravisMinor_23

    TravisMinor_23 New Member

    Oct 16, 2001
    United States
    Excuse me for being naive, but you can't just release players can you? And most teams are up against the cap as well. I'm not quite sure how you are going to rid yourselves of JMM or Llamosa at this point. We had these problems last offseason and had to be quite creative in getting rid of Hristo, namely giving up Kovalenko with him. Also Wolff had to be dumped for virtually nothing and we all know about the Nowak fiasco.....
    I think NE will be an interesting case in MLS salary cap manuevering just as the Fire were last summer. But I don't think it will be as easy as you guys are making it out to be. I'd say DCU would be your most likely trading partner, they are the only team I could see having any interest in JMM.
    Good luck with your offseason moves, you have a good solid core of players there, if you can keep them all...
  17. Feldspar

    Feldspar Member+

    Nov 19, 1998
    Boston, MA
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The guy who sits next to me at Gillette said that Adin's going on trial somewhere near Norway (though Holland seems likely). Apparently this fellow's son works with Adin's girlfriend, so take it for what it's worth.

    Certainly, going to Holland would make sense for Adin. It'd be a huge loss for the Revs, though....
  18. Argyle

    Argyle Member

    Jan 31, 2002
    Plymouth, MA
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    First thing that needs to be answered is the contract status of all players.

    Without knowing much of anything, I'd say it's time for the Revs and Joe-Max Moore to part ways. The money spent on him is better spent on retaining Cancela, as well as giving Noonan and Joseph the raises they've earned.

    As for the draft, the Revs have been very fortunate over the past two years. I don't know how they stack up against other teams, but getting three starters in the last two drafts sounds pretty good to me. I don't think that's something we can rely on every year.

    Under the circumstances, I think the "Best Player Available" approach is the way to go. You can never have too much bench-strength at any position.
  19. ProfZodiac

    ProfZodiac Moderator
    Staff Member

    Jan 17, 2003
    Boston, MA
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What I would do:

    Emphasis on the I, by the way, since nobody ever agrees with me. :( ;)

    1. Cut List:
    Tony Frias - your time is up. No, you never got to play, and you blame it on injuries. You're just taking up space on the Dev. Roster which we should be using with Westfield. Pack your bags, and hope the new San Diego coach is foolish enough to take you.

    Chris Bagley - this one hurts. I like the kid, and I strongly appreciate the way he came up through the system, but the Revs just have too many forwards, when they're healthy. Somebody should pick you up. While I hope you succeed, I don't see it being here.

    Jason Moore - this one also hurts. I still think the guy can learn how to play the ball off after he's smoked that right-side defender. Again, I hope somebody picks you up, but not us.

    2. Trade Fodder

    Matt Reis - didn't do much here, I will admit, but he can be passed off to somebody for some decent talent. Revs don't need three keepers. If he can't be passed off, fine, keep him, but I think he can be traded.

    Joe-Max Moore - big-time. Someone's gonna need him for their front line, and the Revs don't. Take him off our hands, injuries and all, and hey! For another dollar and seventy-five cents, we'll throw in Frias!

    Daouda Kante - definite promise. However, he lost his spot here that July day against the Scum. Quality defense, but no speed. Could play in a sweeper role somewhere.

    3. Keep list

    Carlos Llamosa - I still trust him to anchor the back line. No, he's not fast, but he's more of a team leader than Joey often is. He's always where he needs to be when the ball is coming into the area. His only problem is when he gets beaten.

    Dario Fabbro - An Argentine and a Uruguayan working together? I thought 1930 would still sting, but hey, if it works, why mess with it? While Twellman will obviously start, I can see Noonan moving back to the wing and this guy starting or coming on as a super-sub.

    Dimelon Westfield - never toss unchecked talent. Nicol saw something in him, and has he been drastically wrong yet? Did Kante perform last season? Did Kam perform last season? Did DH perform last season? Yes. Did Noonan perform this season? Did Cancela perform this season? Did Shalrie perform this season? Yes. Don't throw away what we don't know about.

    I'd like to think the rest are obvious. My starting line-up, assuming health:

  20. Soccer Doc

    Soccer Doc Member+

    Nov 30, 2001
    Keene, NH
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't think Matt Reis is going anywhere. Sooner (likely) or later Brown is going overseas and Reis is a starting quality Keeper. The only way Reis would be traded is if SN felt he could get someone better which could be a hard task. Keeping a third Keeper on the DV roster is a wise move since the old system of being able to call up a keeper from the A-League is no longer in place and costs us next to nothing.

    I think the two draft picks will be used for P-40's since roster slots will be hard to come by. The biggest unknown for me is what the Revs will do with the allocation. Wll they use it or trade it? Word is that DCU needs one to pick up Adu. Maybe we could get Milton Reies (sp) that right back of theres that was out injured all this year.

    Shoul;d be an interesting winter
  21. rscaramelo

    rscaramelo Coach/Hack Defender

    May 5, 1999
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    LLamosa-He's still got plenty in the tank. Great in combination with Rusty. His craftyness is second to none. Very effective in the stopper role with Rusty as his sweeper.
    Rusty-read above. Made major strides in maturity this season. I'd like to see him work with a Yogi or someone who could help him stay flexible and healthy next season. If MLS had a most improved player award, he'd have to be in the running.
    Leonard-Has made Joey tradebait. Needs more PT.
    Joseph-The legit rookie of the year, but won't win.
    Noonan-Potential US National. Probably will finish second to Ralph for Rookie of the Year.
    Ralston-Next season's captain. All class.
    Twellman-Assuming he's not going to Europe, expect another run at the scoring title as long as he can avoid getting kicked in the head.
    A.Brown-Best keeper in the league. I hope he stays but I wouldn't be surprised to see him go to Europe.
    M.Reis-We need cover for Brown. Good keeper and seems like a good guy.
    C.Brown-Nice player. I'd rather keep him over Fabbro.
    Cancela-Team MVP. The new Naveda, but much better, tougher and a true 10.
    Bagley-Has some potential. I really like what I saw from him. Can he fill in at MF too?
    Cullen-Good role player.

    Joe-Max-Too expensive, too hurt. Hello expansion draft.
    Jas.Moore-Fast player. Little skill on the ball. Hello Minnesota Thunder.
    Franchino-This one hurts to say but the team was better with Leonard in there.
    Brothers Kante-They Kante play. Hello ALeague.
    Downing-Looks like an ALeague-lifer.
    Frias-No Comment.
    Singer-No idea about the kid but he probably could use some PT. Go sign with a D3 team.
    Fabbro-Nice late season run but you expect more from an international.
    Kamler-I would bring him back ASAP but he may want to retire.
    Heaps-Wouldn't be surprised to see him dealt

    1. Pacy left midfielder with a good cross.
    2. Defensive depth.

  22. firstshirt

    firstshirt Member+

    Mar 1, 2000
    Ellington, CT / NK, RI
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    As much as I like JMM, he is just too fragile and pricey to keep. The Revs have proved they do not need him to win. Westfield is the key to who the Revs take in the draft. He seemed to impress a few coaches at the draft last year. If the Revs can get him signed before the draft then they can focus on thier biggest needs which are central defenders, Right back and left mid.
    Players i would say "thanks its been nice having you are": Fabbro - SI, probably making a decent bit of change, JMM, Downing and Jason Moore, lots of hustle but nothing else. Franchino is expendable but i would keep him for depth.
    I think CBrown is a keeper for now because he can play both forward and mid and he has decent speed.
    I think just unloading JMM and Fabbro, the revs would free up some cash to give a few players some extra bucks, like joseph and Noonan. It also frees up a SI spot that could be used for a defender.
  23. rkupp

    rkupp Member+

    Jan 3, 2001
    Respectfully disagree.

    The real players on the bubble are those making $$, or taking up a foreign spot w/o being a significant starter. That probably means JMM, Fabbro and D. Kante.

    Moore, Brown, Heaps and Cullen are all "good value" guys that you need for 2/3's of your roster.

    Fabbro, I think, has done everything Nicol has asked of him and I wouldn't be quick to dump him unless we have a KNOWN upgrade. I also like Kante, and I think giving up on him after a sophomore slump is a bad idea. OTOH, I'd like to see the Revs bring in a big, experienced British central defender (a Steve Morrow type) to really marshall the defense.

    No way Leonard should accept a developmental slot next season.

    I believe Adin Brown is still under contract to MLS for at least another year, so unless some team blows over MLS with a transfer fee offer, he'll be back.

    Speed at forward (hopefully Westfield could be the answer), left mid and defenders (big, fast and skilled - why not dream?) are the priorities.
  24. NateP

    NateP Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    Plainfield, NH, USA
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't disagree with you, but I think both groups are on different bubbles. You sum up the first group nicely as high $ &/or SI but not performing up to that level. But the second group, MLS' middle class, is on their own bubble not good enough for the big money and always having to beat out younger, cheaper players . Most of them will come back, but it's never a shock when one loses his job in camp.

    Again, I don't disagree but does he have a choice? I can't imagine MLS only signed him to a one year deal, unless DR contracts are automatically done that way. With that said, he qualifies for another year there and he, like almost every other player in MLS, doesn't have the leverage to force a move to the Senior roster. That leaves it up to the Revs to figure out whether it is a better value to go with Leonard and new player X on the Senior roster or Leonard and a new player on the DR. My guess is he stays on the DR with the promise of a nice raise for 2005 when he moves to the senior roster, though I'd be happy to see him get his money right away.
  25. Soccer Doc

    Soccer Doc Member+

    Nov 30, 2001
    Keene, NH
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's interesting to look at the responses above. One thing jumps out---no player on the regular roster is singled out by most posters as someone who should be dropped. This says to me that most of the die-hard Rev BS group think we basically have a quality roster. I also get from the lack of concern expressed on the issue that we all have a high degree of trust for SN as a judge of talent and his skill as the person responsable for building us a winning side.


    It;s obvious that no team in MLS can rest on it's previous years success. This league is evolving rapidly. I see the Revs in a great position to fine tune an already good Roster. We have a good pool of talent fighting for roster slots and we have a allocation and some high draft picks to spice up the mix.

    What a way to go into the winter break (mega big smile)


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