From the halls of Foxboro Stadium…

Why the Revs Won’t Win MLS Cup… Again (Play at Home Edition)

Posted by Mike Marshall on February 11, 2009

That’s right, I’m calling it now.  The 2009 edition of the New England Revolution will prove again to be not good enough to raise the Whatever We’re Calling It This Year Trophy that Columbus won last November.

And when the Revs are eliminated, it will have nothing to do with injuries, schedule congestion, or any of the myriad of excuses that are regularly trotted out when the club fails to clear the final hurdle.  Instead, the Revs will fall short for the most basic of reasons – they don’t have enough good players.

Here’s a little homework assignment – divide this team’s roster into Elite Players, Star Players, Above Average MLS Players, Average MLS Players, Backup or Below Average MLS Players, and Players who are tough to categorize  because it’s too early in their careers.

Elite Players (1)
Shalrie Joseph

Star Players (3)
Taylor Twellman
Steve Ralston
Matt Reis

Above Average MLS Players (1)
Jeff Larentowicz

Average MLS Players (2)
Chris Albright
Jay Heaps

Backups/Below Average MLS Players (8)
Mauricio Castro
Kheli Dube
Amaechi Igwe
Kenny Mansally
Sainey Nyassi
Pat Phelan
Wells Thompson
Chris Tierney

Too Early to Tell/Unknown (8)
Kevin Alston
Gabriel Badilla
Argenis Fernandez
Brad Knighton
Ryan Maxwell
Zack Simmons
Rob Valentino
Mike Videira

MLS teams are allowed to have 24 players under contract.  By my count, a full third of the Revolution roster are near complete unknowns where the coaching staff just can’t be very certain as to what they’ll get out of them.  Another third have proven themselves to be backup/bench material at this point in their careers.  This isn’t to say they won’t develop into better players – maybe even this year – just that they haven’t proven themselves to be reliable MLS starters at this point in their careers.

This just doesn’t strike me as a whole bunch of talent.  And there are WAY too many guys you can’t really rely on.

Edit: Fair point in the comments.  I should include my assessments of at least a couple of other teams in order to show where the Revs are deficient.  I’ll choose what I think are the three best teams in the East right now – Columbus, Chicago, and Toronto.

Columbus Crew
Elite Players (1) – Barros-Schelloto
Star Players (2) – Marshall, Rogers
Above-Average MLS Players (3) – Gaven, Hejduk, Carroll
Average MLS Players (5) – Hesmer, Moreno, Noonan, O’Rourke, Padula
Backup/Below Average MLS Players (7) – Ekpo, Garey, Greunebaum, Iro, Lenhart, Moffat, Oughton
Too Early to Tell/Unknown (7) – Clements, Elenio, Gerstenberger, Grendi, Nyazamba, Schoeni, Zayner

Chicago Fire
Elite Players (1) – Blanco
Star Players (6) – Busch, Conde, McBride, Rolfe, Segares, Soumare
Above-Average MLS Players (1) – Mapp
Average MLS Players (3) – Pause, Prideaux, Thorrington
Backup/Below Average MLS Players (5) – Banner, Carr, Nyarko, Pappa, Robinson
Too Early to Tell/Unknown (9) – Elisabetarson, Husidic, Jata, Kasiguran, Lowry, Noble, Sias, Washington, Woolard

Toronto FC
Elite Players (1) – DeRosario
Star Players (1) – Wynne
Above-Average MLS Players (3) – Dichio, Guevara, Robinson
Average MLS Players (5) – Barrett, Brennan, Ricketts, Sutton, Velez
Backup/Below Average MLS Players (5) – Edwards, Gala, Harmse, Rosenlund, Smith
Too Early to Tell/Unknown (7) – Attakora-Gyan, Cronin, Frei, Hall, Ibrahim, Vitti, White


5 Responses to “Why the Revs Won’t Win MLS Cup… Again (Play at Home Edition)”

  1. Mike Flanagan said

    MMMMMM… that smell. It’s the smell of mediocrity.

  2. NateP said

    Your grading is a bit more harsh than mine but in the same ballpark. I might move Castro, Dube & Nyassi up to the average level, but that’s about it and I could certainly be talked out of Dube & Nyassi… Not a happy thought. I might try something similar with the other teams to see how we compare.

  3. iuhi said

    Are you going to break down the other teams to show us that the Revs are in worse shape or are we just supposed to assume that they are worse off because you said so?

  4. Bill Biscaia said

    I concur. Nicol and our front office are doing a bad job as usual.

  5. Mike said

    The Revs did not make one move this off-season that improved the team as a whole.

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