FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution took a significant step in addressing its need for goal scorers on Thursday morning with the announcement that the club has acquired Colombian forward Jose Moreno on loan from Once Caldas.
Moreno, 30, scored seven goals and added four assists in 20 appearances with the Colombian club, and he’ll be expected to provide a similarly balanced game while wearing the No. 9 jersey in Foxborough.
“He can jump, he can shoot – he can do all the things you want your No. 9 to do,” said head coach Jay Heaps, who made Moreno his third Colombian signing after bringing in Fernando Cardenas and John Lozano in early January. “He’s a big, strong player and we’re hoping his addition will [help us at] a position that we’ve desperately been looking for – someone who can hold it for us so we can then get our midfield up the field.”
The foundation for Moreno’s signing was laid months ago when Heaps and General Manager Michael Burns spotted the forward during a scouting trip to Colombia, but the process was delayed because the player chose not to discuss potential offers until after the Colombian season ended in late December.
New England waited patiently until its opportunity to speak with Moreno, and when the time came, the process moved quickly.
“We were just kind of waiting for our time to have a conversation with the player and when we did, there was mutual interest,” said Heaps, who indicated that the presence of countrymen Cardenas and Lozano was a draw for Moreno. “It was a slow process, but when talks started to happen, it happened quicker.”
Heaps hopes to use Moreno as a target forward and provide a point of attack for creative midfielders Benny Feilhaber, Shalrie Joseph and Kelyn Rowe to play around. But the Revs are still in search of more attacking help and have plans to make further additions before the start of the season on March 10.
“It’d be premature if I said I feel really good about where we are,” said Heaps. “I’d say I’m happy with where we’re at, but I still think we have to see how certain things play out and where we go from there. But I’m certainly not going to sit here and say that we’re done (making additions) for the year.
“There’s still dialogue going on with others and we continue to have that dialogue,” he added. “You can’t make [the team] overnight, but as this offseason has gone, we’ve certainly made some changes and made some signings. We’ll continue to keep doing that.”