FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Just 11 days after declining Benny Feilhaber’s contract option for the 2013 season the New England Revolution officially parted ways with the 27-year-old midfielder on Tuesday afternoon, sending him to Sporting Kansas City in exchange for a pair of future draft picks and allocation money.
The trade brings an end to Feilhaber’s 20-month stint in New England, where he made 52 appearances while registering five goals and nine assists. After notching four goals and a team-leading seven assists in 23 appearances in 2011, he managed just one goal and two assists in 29 appearances in 2012.
“It’s always difficult to trade a player away, but at the same time you have to see what you’re getting and what you can do to strengthen your team,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “We felt that it was a pretty good deal for us moving forward in terms of the draft picks and in terms of the money we were getting. For Benny, it’s going to be a good opportunity for him, as well, to change environment and get another shot at returning to form.”
The recent additions of Kalifa Cisse and Andy Dorman significantly strengthened the Revolution’s crowded midfield, in part allowing the Revs to pursue a trade for Feilhaber. In parting ways with the World Cup veteran, the Revolution frees up a considerable amount of space under the strict salary budget – a necessary asset as the club aims to shore up its backline ahead of 2013.
“In adding the players that we did, we feel that we have a pretty strong midfield,” said Heaps. “When you start putting the entire roster together and you start balancing it in a salary cap era – which we’re in and you have to be mindful of that – there are hard decisions on the roster and players. This certainly was a difficult decision.”
In exchange for Feilhaber the Revs receive an undisclosed amount of allocation money, Sporting KC’s natural first-round pick in the 2014 SuperDraft and its natural second-round pick in the 2015 SuperDraft. All told, the Revs believe the move will be beneficial both in the short- and long-term.
“It helps us immediately in the fact that we get some salary cap relief and some allocation money, and then it also allows us to build for the future with the draft picks in the following years,” said Heaps. “In the end it’s one of those situations where we had to really take a hard look at it and after discussing it up and down, we felt that it was the right time and the right move.”