New England continued to construct their roster for 2011 by acquiring the rights to two MLS veterans and losing the rights to one of their defenders in Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Process on Wednesday afternoon.
The Revs plucked central defender Ryan Cochrane away from Houston with the fourth overall selection of the process, and then swiped Fred from Philadelphia with the sole pick in the second round.
New England also lost central defender Cory Gibbs to Chicago in the first round of the process.
Cochrane is poised to join the Revs after featuring 12 times for the Dynamo in 2010. The 27-year-old central defender played a key role for Houston during their MLS Cup triumphs over the Revs in 2006 and 2007, but he saw the field primarily as a reserve after returning to the Dynamo in a midseason trade with San Jose in 2009.
Once the Dynamo declined Cochrane's option for 2011 to make him available before Stage 1, and it appeared Gibbs may not haved returned to the team as Stage 2 approached, New England pinpointed Cochrane as a possible addition to the central defensive corps, according to Revolution vice president of player personnel Michael Burns.
“With the loss of Cory and just having Darrius [Barnes] and Emmanuel [Osei] as center backs, we felt that Ryan was a guy who can certainly play, who has experience in this league and who can provide cover,” Burns told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. “We felt that [Cochrane's selection] addressed a need, and we're optimistic and hopeful that we'll be able to get a deal done with him by the end of the year.”
While Cochrane would fill a concrete need for the Revs if he signs a new deal, the out-of-contract Fred presented an attractive option because of his versatility.
The 31-year-old midfielder offers creativity and ingenuity as either an attacking midfielder or as a wide player on either flank, and Burns said he would boost the Revs' offensive options should he choose to re-sign with MLS and join the Revs.
“The truth of the matter with Fred is that we're fully aware that he's out of contract, but we feel he's a player who can play a couple of different spots and could add a dimension to our team offensively that we don't currently have,” Burns said. “At the same time, I don't want to say it's a long shot or a certainty, but we're not exactly sure where Fred is at in terms of wanting to return to MLS.”
Although Burns isn't sure whether Fred will return to the league in 2011, he hopes the former Melbourne Victory star will choose to play a fifth season in MLS for the Revs next year.
“He's out of contract and he's Brazilian,” Burns said of Fred's bargaining power. “My guess is that he's going to have a few options to weigh. We're hopeful that New England will be one of his considerations, and we'll see if we can get something done to bring him in.”
The terms of the Re-Entry Process stipulate that the Revs must supply both Cochrane and Fred with a genuine contract offer within seven days to retain the player's rights, and each player must sign a new deal with the league before joining the Revolution's roster for 2011.