FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – In recent weeks the New England Revolution has parted ways with seven players from its 2011 roster, while the club is currently in negotiations with three players (Danleigh Borman, Nate Jaqua and Clyde Simms) who were selected in the Re-Entry Process.
Meanwhile, newly-appointed head coach Jay Heaps and General Manager Michael Burns continue to search for fresh foreign talent on scouting trips and are moving forward with preparations ahead of the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, set for Jan. 12 in Kansas City, Mo.
By all indications, the Revolution’s roster will look significantly different in 2012. It’s an unsurprising revelation considering the club’s dismal 2011 campaign and Heaps’ desire to build his own squad following nine years on the field and two years in the broadcast booth in New England.
As we inch closer to the 2012 season – preseason training camp opens in just one month on Jan. 16 – now seems like an appropriate time to comb through the Revolution’s current roster and analyze where the club stands position-by-position. Throughout the next week, we’ll outline each position in an effort to recognize which spots the Revs could be looking to strengthen in the coming weeks and months.
Today, we begin with the goalkeepers.
Goalkeepers (Tim Murray, Matt Reis, Bobby Shuttleworth)
Easily the most stable position on the Revolution’s roster, the trio of Matt Reis, Bobby Shuttleworth and Tim Murray served as New England’s goalkeeping corps throughout the 2011 season and seem likely to continue in that role into 2012.
Reis rebounded from an injury-plagued 2010 season to make 27 starts in 2011, answering lingering questions about his health and proving that the 36-year-old shot-stopper still has some gas left in the tank. The four-time MLS All-Star was under siege for much of the year and subsequently led the league with 4.11 saves per game, while he notched five shutouts and maintained a 1.59 goals against average.
Voted the team’s Most Valuable Player by Revolution fans, Reis signed a new contract on Dec. 1 and is expected to be New England’s top choice between the pipes at the start of preseason camp.
Second on the depth chart is Shuttleworth, who enters his fourth season in Foxborough after signing with the Revs midway through the 2009 season. After making the first five starts of his career in 2010, Shuttleworth continued his development with seven starts in 2011 and showed flashes of ability despite going winless (0-4-3) with a 2.14 goals against average.
Shuttleworth also benefited from the return of the Reserve Division, making seven more appearances (six starts) with the reserve side. The Revs thought highly enough of the 24-year-old to protect him in this year’s Expansion Draft and Shuttleworth is seemingly being groomed as the goalkeeper of the future in Foxborough.
Rounding out the current goalkeeping unit is former Providence College netminder and Haverhill, Mass., product Murray, who has yet to make a regular-season appearance in two years with the Revolution. Murray did make seven appearances with the reserve team in 2011, while the 24-year-old also made a substitute appearance in one U.S. Open Cup game and spent time on loan with USL PRO side FC New York.