It has been an extremely busy offseason for the New England Revolution. Not only did the Revolution replace log-term coach Steve Nicol with Jay Heaps, but the roster has undergone a total makeover, with 11 new players coming in and 12 players leaving. Expect the Revs to add at least another two more players in the next week or so.
“It was by far the busiest offseason that we’ve had, certainly since I’ve been here, and I think probably with the exception of the start of the team in 1996, that we’ve probably ever had,” said Revs President and General Manager Michael Burns. “There’s only one reason why we felt we had to [make so many changes], and that’s simply the fact that we weren’t good enough last year on the field. We felt we owed it to the staff, the players and the fans to put a better product on the field.”
The reason for the quiet optimism around Gillette these days is that the team went 6-0-1 in the preseason, and the past two weeks in Tucson, Ariz., offered plenty of bonding time for a group still trying to find its collective footing.
This was the Heap’s first training camp and preseason in charge and he is happy with where the Revs are ahead of their trip to San Jose this weekend:
Regardless of what happens on Saturday night, it could be weeks before we get a true sense on how good this New England side can be. Former U.S. international midfielder Lee Nguyen arrived through the waiver draft just on Friday, while Columbian striker José Moreno is not expected to arrive in Boston for another week or so.
It will take time for all these new players to get settled and comfortable playing in a new system. But still, the Revs won 5 games last season. Anything less than 10 wins this season will have to be considered a major disappointment.
Heaps job was just made a little harder on Wednesday with the news that Sainey Nyassi had been placed on the disabled list because of a hamstring injury. Nyassi is expected to miss at least 8-10 more weeks with the injury.