Pair of early signings gives Revs offseason jumpstart

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The Thanksgiving turkey has yet to be carved, but already the New England Revolution is making moves.

Within the past week, the Revs have added a pair of experienced midfielders with the re-signing of old friend Andy Dorman and the acquisition of Mali international Kalifa Cisse. Last offseason the Revs didn’t make their first international signings until January, but the technical staff has wasted little time getting to work ahead of 2013.

“It’s the earliest since I’ve been here that we’ve been able to sign a couple players,” said General Manager Michael Burns, who joined the club in a front office capacity in 2005. “To not even be into December yet and to add players of Kalifa’s and Andy’s ability, we feel like we’ve gotten a good start on the offseason acquisitions.”

For New England, getting a jumpstart on offseason movement was a matter of finding a silver lining. While there was massive disappointment that the club was once again eliminated from playoff contention with multiple games remaining, the situation did allow the Revs to begin looking toward the future earlier than anticipated.

“Unfortunately, part of the reason [we were able to sign players early] was because we didn’t make the playoffs,” Burns admitted. “Honestly, once we were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs – while we were still concentrating on the remaining five games that we had in the 2012 regular season – from that point on we started to bring in some players to get a look at … In this case, we’ve signed two of them.”

The acquisitions of Cisse and Dorman represent a solid start for a club looking to add veteran leadership and reestablish itself as a playoff contender after three years as postseason outsiders. But it does only represent the start as the Revs have also expressed their intent to strengthen their options on the backline, while further reinforcements in the attacking third are always on the radar.

There will be plenty of opportunities to continue beefing up the roster in the coming weeks. The Re-Entry Process – the mechanism by which the Revs acquired Clyde Simms last offseason – will take place in two stages on Dec. 7 and Dec. 14, while the MLS SuperDraft will follow in mid-January. In the meantime, the Revs will continue their search for international talent.

“With Andy and Kalifa coming on, with the Re-Entry Draft coming up, then the domestic draft coming up, then still trying to look to add an international or two, the next couple months are busy, but it’s a good busy,” said Burns. “We’re going to look to whatever avenue we can to strengthen the team, whether it’s Re-Entry, SuperDraft or international players. There are a lot of different ways we can acquire players and we’re looking at all of them.”