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Revs update: player moves, preseason destinations, and cup competitions
While David Beckham’s move to the Los Angeles Galaxy for what could reportedly bring the soccer star $250 million in the next five years is grabbing all the headlines, the New England Revolution have been busy themselves. Good play from the team has brought interest from European squads in many of the Revs top players. World Cup star midfielder Clint Dempsey has left for Fulham, but forward Taylor Twellman and midfielder Shalrie Joseph look here to stay despite offers from overseas. Meanwhile the team has brought in nine players from college through the SuperDraft and Supplemental Draft. Preseason plans have also been set for a return to Bermuda and a visit to Cancun, Mexico. Looking forward to the start of the season, the new SuperLiga in which Mexican teams will face off against those from Major League Soccer sees the Revs excluded, but rule changes will not see them left out of the nation’s oldest team competition, the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.

It was only a matter of time before Clint Dempsey left the Revs for Europe and the offer finally came to pry him from the Revs in the form of a reported $4 million from Fulham FC of the English Premiership. The news is not all bad for the Revs, however, as the team receives much more for him under new league rules that did not exist when a bid from English side Charlton was turned down over the summer. “We are the first one that is in uncharted territory so to speak with regards to two-thirds of the transfer coming directly to the team, which we plan on using in player acquisition,” Revolution Director of Soccer Mike Burns stated. “On one hand Clint obviously leaves a void in our team and in the league to be quite frank, but the fact that we do have some money now that we can use to go out and try to find a replacement, will hopefully make it a little bit easier.” Dempsey made his debut for Fulham on January 20th as a late substitute against Tottenham Hotspur and played a role in Fulham’s lone goal in a 1-1 draw.

Key midfielder Shalrie Joseph and all-time leading scorer Taylor Twellman appear here to stay for at least 2007, despite reported interest in the pair from Glasgow Celtic (Scotland) and Odd Grenland (Norway), respectively. “Celtic basically made the same offer [they made over the summer] again, so the league was in discussions with us and the offer was rejected,” Burns said. “As of right now I anticipate that Shalrie will be playing for the Revolution come the spring.” As for Twellman who spoke of a possible move around the time of MLS Cup, Burns says he is “ still under contract with the league and we fully expect Taylor will be back with us at least through next year and we hope longer.”

In the meantime, the Revs have acquired nine players out of college through the league’s draft system. The Revs picked up Wake Forest midfielder Wells Thompson (5th overall, SuperDraft), Santa Clara and U.S. Under-20 midfielder/defender Amaechi Igwe (12th, SuperDraft), Wake Forest midfielder Ryan Solle (23rd, SuperDraft), UC-Santa Barbara midfielder Bryan Byrne (38th, SuperDraft), Virginia forward Adam Cristman (48th, SuperDraft), Duke defender Kyle Helton (51st, SuperDraft), Clemson goalkeeper Phil Marfuggi (12th, Supplemental), Hofstra defender Gary Flood (25th, Supplemental), and Duke midfielder/forward Chris Loftus (38th, Supplemental). According to Burns, the credit for finding the players has to go to Head Coach Steve Nicol and Assistant Coach Paul Mariner. “Almost all of the credit has to go to Steve [Nicol] and Paul [Mariner], Burns said. “Through networking and through them attending a lot of games, obviously with Boston College being in the ACC now, we get to see Wake Forest, Virginia, Duke, and North Carolina as they come up here into the Boston area, and with Harvard in the Ivy League and Boston University, they get to quite a few college games in the fall in addition to their full-time job with coaching the team. They have seen a lot of players and the ones they have not seen live they have seen on many DVDs which they have scoured through over the last few months and we feel like overall from the players that we have drafted we have definitely strengthened the team.”

The Revs will kick off their preseason this year back in Bermuda in February, where they also headed last year, before moving onto Cancun, Mexico in March. “The decision was reached in conjunction with our travel partner TNT Vacations,” Revolution General Manager Craig Tornberg explained. “We obviously are looking for the locations that are meaningful for them and ones that also meet the criteria that we need in a good balance of climate, training fields, and competition. Bermuda was a great choice because obviously it has worked well for us before. It is very good for us to get games, we are familiar with the landscape, our coaches are very comfortable there (they have a lot of good friends and associations and we have made new friends and associations there), and it is an important market place for TNT Vacations. Cancun, Mexico this year was a conclusion that Tom Diffily, TNT Vacations Vice President, and myself, decided on because of the importance of the location from TNT’s point of view and our ability to get games.”

With the league set to kick off the new SuperLiga against Mexican opposition next year, many were disappointed to see the Revs not included in the list of MLS sides participating. “I have to say that we are certainly disappointed that we are not part of the Superliga for the first year, and that is me talking,” said Tornberg. “A while ago I was really excited about it and I’m still very excited about it. I understand the reasons why not, so I share a little disappointment I’m sure with our fans for the first year. On the other hand, we are excited that the tournament is getting up and running, that we do have good representation from MLS and there is great representation as well from the Mexican clubs, and I think it is going to be a great tournament. In years going forward, we understand it is going to be a true elimination tournament and it will be based solely on those of us that are qualifying for any given year and I think that is really what our fans want to see. How many teams will eventually end up in that? We think they are going to expand that tournament, it will be more inclusive, but we have every reason to believe based on our winning percentages and our winning record and what we are going to bring to the table this year winning the MLS Cup, that we are going to qualify for everybody’s tournament.”

New changes in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup that have yet to be fully explained could potentially exclude a few MLS teams from taking part. Fortunately the Revs will be taking part. “We will be playing in the US Open Cup tournament, we will be a great participant and we will look forward to winning that as a trophy as well,” Tornberg said “As we look at last year, we kind of got shortchanged a little out in Chicago, but we have every interest of being in that tournament and putting on a good show.”
January 22, 2007 Sean Donahue


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Salt Lake 0
Columbus 0

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New England 0
Toronto 0

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DC United 0
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Houston 0
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Colorado 0
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Team Name Pts
Chicago 3
Columbus 1
New York 1
DC United 0
Kansas City 0
New England 0
Toronto 0

Team Name Pts
Dallas 4
Chivas USA 3
Colorado 3
Houston 1
Los Angeles 1
Salt Lake 1

Top Ten Scorers
Top 10 Scorers
Player Name Gls
Ruiz 2
Cooper 2
Cunningham 2
Kljestan 1
Brown 1
Emilio 1
H. Gomez 1
Findley 1
Razov 1
Pause 1