FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Major League Soccer’s rapidly changing landscape and a league-wide shift towards high-level, international and domestic talent provided the impetus for the New England Revolution to hire Remi Roy as the club’s first-ever Director of Scouting and Player Personnel.
Previously, General Manager Michael Burns and the coaching staff – including Roy, who served as a goalkeeping coach and assistant coach for the past eight years – shared scouting responsibilities. Shifting Roy into a full-time scouting role allows new head coach Brad Friedel and his staff to keep their focus on the field, while Roy can dive headlong into talent acquisition.
“It’s kind of been all hands on deck (in the past),” said Burns, who noted that the Revs discussed the creation of a scouting department for 12-18 months. “It will alleviate some of the responsibilities of our coaching staff; they’ll not have to be so concerned about the identification and recruitment process, so they can focus more on coaching the first team and the players that we have.”
Burns also referenced the influx of Targeted Allocation Money into the league, which has opened the door for an entirely different class of player to join MLS. As more teams spend more money on younger and higher caliber talent, hiring a full-time scout became a necessity.
“We’re in a little bit of a different arena now in terms of being able to acquire some players from an economic standpoint that we probably weren’t able to do a few years ago,” said Burns. “It makes sense with where our league is at, with where our league is going, that we really had to have a full-time person dedicated to this area.”
Roy was chosen from an extensive group of domestic and international candidates, according to Burns, and while his familiarity with the club was a bonus, Roy was offered the position based largely on his network of contacts and the work he’s put into bringing players to New England in the past.
“We did go through an extensive process and interviewed many, many qualified candidates,” Burns said. “But we felt that Remi, with everything that he brings – his experience with our organization, his contacts and his connections – made the most sense. We’re happy to promote him to this position.”
After years splitting his time between coaching and scouting, Roy can now channel all of his efforts into talent acquisition. He’ll work on a daily basis with Burns and Friedel, who brings his own network of contacts to the fold after a 22-year playing career.
Roy’s hiring potentially lays the foundation for the creation of an entire scouting department, as Burns envisions the area continuing to grow into the future.
“I think as the league continues to evolve, I can only see a scouting department growing,” Burns said. “This is the first step.”