FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – After almost 10 straight months of daily training sessions and weekly games, New England Revolution players have begun dispersing to a variety of locales around the world for a few weeks of much-needed rest and relaxation.
The Revolution’s technical staff, however, is merely switching gears to prepare for another busy offseason.
Much work awaits General Manager Michael Burns, head coach Jay Heaps and the rest of New England’s staff in the coming weeks and months as they continue to build a contending roster around the solid core the club has established in recent years.
As it does every offseason, that process will include parting ways with some players from the 2013 team.
“There are obviously decisions about the current roster that we have to make going forward and those are always tough decisions and difficult decisions,” said Heaps. “Along with that, there’s a lot that we do to build this team.”
Contract options for 2014 must be exercised or declined by Dec. 1, a date followed shortly thereafter by the two-stage Re-Entry Draft (typically in mid-December) and the MLS SuperDraft (typically in mid-January). All the while, coaches and GMs will be scouting college matches and working to secure international signings.
Heaps was coy about which areas of the field the Revs will be looking to strengthen this offseason, but the impending departure of Juan Agudelo to Europe creates an opening at the striker position, while a 5-7 month recovery period for goalkeeper Matt Reis has raised questions about his future, as well.
Regardless of where the Revs will aim to strengthen, how they’ll do so is limited to four primary mechanisms, and the club will be open to exploring all possibilities within that structure in order to continue building a contender.
“There are pieces that we want to fill and there are areas in which we do that whether it’s trade, whether it’s draft, whether it’s international signings or the Re-Entry Draft,” said Heaps. “There aren’t many ways, so those four ways, you have to be very strategic in how you do it. That, with the decisions to be made about the roster, is all going to weigh.”