FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – When the New England Revolution heads on a 12-day trip to Bradenton, Fla., to kick off the club’s 2014 preseason camp in a couple of weeks, a few unsigned guests will make the trip, as well.
Speaking via phone from the MLS Player Combine in Lauderhill, Fla., Revolution General Manager Michael Burns revealed on Monday morning that “a number of international players” will be part of New England’s camp as the club aims to bolster its roster ahead of the season opener in Houston on March 8.
While the names of those players – and their positions – have yet to be revealed, Burns has several times indicated that the Revolution’s focus this offseason has been on adding weapons in the attacking third, particularly following the loss of Juan Agudelo.
Burns has also frequently pointed to the benefits of having transfer targets train with the club before a deal is struck. Not only does it provide an up-close, in-person look at the players on the field, but it also offers the added value of seeing how individuals interact with the coaching staff and rest of the squad.
“We feel like there’s a huge benefit to that in terms of getting to know the players a little bit personally, seeing them interact with our players and with our coaching staff,” said Burns. “You get a real look at them over an extended period of time with your group. We’ll continue to do that.”
Last offseason the Revs were able to make three international signings – Kalifa Cisse, Andy Dorman and Jose Goncalves – before preseason camp opened, but under different circumstances. Cisse, Dorman and Goncalves all trained with the Revolution in Foxborough toward the end of the 2012 season, after the Revs had been eliminated from playoff contention.
But New England’s postseason run in 2013 (thankfully) prevented the club from replicating that approach, meaning the Revs will need to wait until preseason camp opens in late January to get a first-person look at potential new signings training with the club.