LOS ANGELES – Rumors swirled on Friday morning that the New England Revolution – along with a host of other teams – were in discussions with both Minnesota United and Atlanta United for the first and second overall picks, respectively, as pundits continued to link the Revs with Syracuse center back and Massachusetts native Miles Robinson.
Ultimately both Minnesota and Atlanta held onto their first-ever SuperDraft picks – Robinson was selected second by Atlanta – and the Revs nabbed Vermont forward Brian Wright (20th overall) and Kentucky midfielder Napo Matsoso (31st overall) with the picks they entered the day holding.
While General Manager Michael Burns admitted that the Revs did engage in some discussions about moving prior to and on draft day, he indicated that the rumors were a bit stronger than reality.
“We had some conversations, but I can assure you that there were a lot more rumors than there were truths about our position, about us moving up,” Burns said. “There was some truth to that, but it was far from completely true.”
The Robinson link made sense not only because of the defender’s local roots, but also because of the Revolution’s need for reinforcements on the backline. But after selecting a forward and a midfielder on draft day, both Burns and head coach Jay Heaps reiterated that they’re looking to make significant additions on the international market in the coming weeks and months.
“Obviously this is one phase of what we’re trying to do to build a roster,” said Heaps. “But we feel like we’ve done a lot of work this offseason – quite frankly from last offseason through the summer. Now, hopefully, we start to really have some signings.
“We’ve identified players, we’ve made offers. At the same time, it’s a little bit of a process.”
Preseason camp opens in 10 days when the Revs will report to Foxborough, while six weeks of training will follow before their season opener on March 4 in Colorado. Between now and that opener, the Revs know that plenty of work remains as far as building the roster for 2017.
“This is only a piece of the puzzle,” Burns said of the SuperDraft. “There’s still a significant amount of work to do. There are still hopefully multiple signings to come, in the near future – ideally before the season starts.
“But like I said, this is one piece. We are still actively looking and pursuing some other positions on the field, as well.”