FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – As always, a new year will bring fresh faces to the New England Revolution, with several additions made before the calendar officially flipped to 2019. Edgar Castillo, Juan Fernando Caicedo, and Nicolas Firmino were all acquired between November 27 and December 18, while veteran forward Juan Agudelo was re-signed during that period, as well.
Those moves leave the Revolution with 21 players under contract as preseason camp approaches, with the Revs convening in Foxborough on January 21 before departing for Marbella, Spain on January 25.
Several more additions will be made before the regular season kicks off on March 2 in Dallas, and General Manager Michael Burns left open the possibility that some moves could be completed before preseason camp opens in less than three weeks.
“We were able to make some moves prior to the close of the year, but we still have some work to do and we still have some pieces to add,” said Burns, noting that the Revs have two open international roster spots. “We’re not done by any stretch.
“(We’ll be) adding some pieces, and ideally those pieces will be added by January 21. But we still have two months to go before the season opener.”
Burns is always reticent to reveal which areas of the field the Revs are targeting – they’ve already added veterans at left back and forward in Castillo and Caicedo, respectively – but he did mention that current targets are in the Designated Player or TAM range, confirming a recent tweet from Revolution president Brian Bilello.
Will add 3-4 above max salary players before the season. 1 or 2 of those will be DP. One announcement this week, not sure if we’ll be able to announce any others prior to 1/1.— Brian Bilello (@RevsPrez) December 19, 2018
“Those are the players that we’re targeting. Those are the players that we’re looking at in terms of right now,” Burns said. “We are looking to add some pieces in those categories.”
Last year the Revs signed Isaac Angking (January 2), Gabriel Somi (January 5), and Wilfried Zahibo (January 11) in the buildup to preseason camp; Cristian Penilla (January 23) shortly after camp opened; Jalil Anibaba (February 9), Nicolas Samayoa (February 9), Brandon Bye (February 10), and Mark Segbers (February 10) during camp; and Luis Caicedo (March 8) after the season opener.
Burns noted that “there’s always the possibility” that unattached players will join Revs’ preseason camp on trial, although he added that any trialists likely wouldn’t be internationals.
There are still plenty of unknowns, but what we do know for sure is that Castillo, Caicedo and Firmino are already on board, and that more signings are forthcoming.
“We’ve made some moves. We still have some moves to make,” Burns said. “We’re not done.”