Burns: Revs “definitely wanted to pursue” top pick

Revolution set to make first overall selection in Thursday’s SuperDraft

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The New England Revolution is moving on up.

The Revs swung a deal on Wednesday afternoon to land the top overall selection in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, set to unfold at the Indiana Convention Center at 12 p.m. ET on Thursday. New England sent the fourth overall pick and allocation money to Toronto FC – which also holds the third overall selection – for the number one pick.

“As everyone knows, around the draft there’s certainly no shortage of rumors that are out there and possible deals, and we’ve had discussions with multiple teams,” said General Manager Michael Burns. “This deal became a reality. It was a deal we definitely wanted to pursue and we were able to get it done with Toronto.

“We feel good about it. We’ve never been in this high of a position in any draft. We felt that for the amount of allocation money that we gave up, it was worth moving up three slots.”

As Burns noted, this is the first time the Revolution has ever held the top overall selection in a SuperDraft. The highest previous selection in club history came back in 2002 when New England drafted Taylor Twellman second overall. Twellman went on to become the Revolution’s all-time leading goal scorer.

Conversations with Toronto FC about acquiring the number one pick began to pick up steam at the MLS Player Combine, which wrapped up yesterday in Lauderhill, Fla. Burns revealed that as the Combine unfolded and the Revs interviewed players and assessed the talent available, they were prompted to move up to the top spot.

“I think it becomes more real – the conversations at the Combine – when you’re actually watching the players,” said Burns. “Obviously you have some opinions going into the Combine, but (it evolves) when you meet with the players and when you see the players in that environment.

“All the teams are [there] and there are more opportunities to have face-to-face discussions with other teams. Some guys move up and down accordingly on your depth chart, so to speak, so that’s the main reason we did the deal.”

Burns confirmed that the Revs do have a target in mind with the first overall pick, but prefers to leave a bit of suspense until Thursday at noon when the pick will be announced on ESPN’S SportsCenter.

“Everyone’s going to be asking that question and it’s a fair question, there’s no doubt about it,” Burns said. “Some teams choose to announce who they’re going to select. We’ll choose to keep it amongst us until draft day.”