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New England lining up to use Designated Player slot

The same week the New England Revolution made its first international signing of the off-season comes word that the Revs are on the hunt for candidates to fill their Designated Player slot.

New England announced the signing of Honduran midfielder Mauricio Castro on Monday, and will announce another signing later in the week, but the big news is that those acquisitions will not prevent the Revs from signing a designated player, a move that is now on the club’s agenda.

According to a source with knowledge of New England’s plans, the Revs are currently searching for a player to become the team’s first designated player. Even with the recent acquisitions of Chris Albright and Castro, as well as the impending signing of another player, the Revs have set aside the necessary salary cap space to include a designated player, which figures to be a forward to fit in alongside Taylor Twellman.

In Castro, the Revs have signed a midfielder they hope will either provide an upgrade on the left wing from incumbent starter Khano Smith, or will become the team’s new attacking midfielder. A central midfield role for Castro would allow veteran Steve Ralston to move back to right wing, which would push second-year winger Wells Thompson to the bench.

The Revs are set to announce another signing later in the week. Costa Rican defender Gabriel Badilla has been rumored but trialist Javier Delgado appears to be the better bet to be the signing.

So how will the Revs shape up in 2008? Here is one early look:






If Badilla signs, a 4-4-2 formation would look that much more likely (and even if he doesn’t, a 4-4-2 looks like a very real possibility in 2008):






So who starts up front if the Revs don’t land a designated player? Gambian forward Kenny Mansally is the front-runner for the job, having surpassed second-year forward Adam Cristman in the club’s pecking order.

What do you think about New England signing a designated player? Who would you like to see the Revs sign? Do you like the Castro signing? Share your thoughts on the Revs’ off-season activity below.


  1. So much negativity. This was an article about a DP, but it has moved to also include a REVs urban stadium. Here is another way to look at Kraft’s Patriot’s Place. Its a sign of him moving further into the real estate development business. Before Patriot’s Place he did at least one other much smaller real estate development project. An urban stadium as part of a mixed use complex might be just the type of project the Kraft Group is looking to do after they are done with Patriots Place. Just another speculative thought.

  2. All of the talk about the New England Revolution getting a SSS outside of Foxboro is just that: TALK. If a city is not going to spring for 75%-plus of the construction cost, it is NOT going to happen outside of Foxboro on the Krafts’ watch. Why would Bob Kraft get charged for the cost of buying land and building a SSS somewhere else when he already owns land in Foxboro? What city or town in Mass is going to spring for building Kraft a SSS? Somerville? Forget it. They haven’t got the dough and NIMBYs will kill that. The NIMBYs will kill a stadium plan anywhere inside of 128. Mark my words. The economy is a mess in Eastern Mass. No city or town is going to pay the freight to build Kraft a soccer stadium. Plus, Kraft is looking for reasons to bring people to Foxboro so that they will shop and eat at Patriot Place. Why? Because lease rates at those places are most often based on customer traffic. The more foot traffic Kraft can draw to Patriot Place, the more stores and restaurants can sell. The more stores and restaurants can sell, the more Kraft can justify raising lease rates. Customers can be exposed to Patriot Place before and after Patriots AND Revolution games. I don’t think a Revs SSS is going to happen at all. The Krafts have not maxed out booking events at Gillette Stadium so why will they go to the trouble of building another facility that will compete with Gillette Stadium for events? A SSS in Massachusetts is a dream gang. Kraft is not going to come right out and say that because he does not want to lose the Revs ticket buyers he has.

  3. Garbaggio-
    I’m glad someone brought up Mike Videira. He’s as talented as they come. Class act, home grown talent. Yeah, he did slip due to rumors that he was essentially going abroad. That has yet to fully materialize, there were rumors after his season ended that he would graduate early and probably sign with celtic. That didn’t happen, but it could’ve with all the coaches he has played for in the past. Now the rumors are he could go to a portuguese team as a result of his heritage. However, it would be unlikey, right, until the summer? Like his counterpart, Charlie Davies (they played club together growing up), Mike needs 1st team experience, and would wait to sign until the european season ends.

    He was definitely better than Christman in college, and could definitely play for the revs in some games this year.

  4. Eugene, it’s less than that. The Red Bull Park will be 20 minutes from Manhattan by PATH. It will be easier to get to from downtown Manhattan than Shea Stadium or Yankee Stadium.

  5. reid and steve,

    being a revs fan living in chicago for a number of years, I can completely agree with the suburb thing. i used to watch the fire in soldier field twice a summer, and since they moved to the burbs, i have yet to see them. it’s too much of a pain in the butt to get out there, park (even if i had a car, i’ve heard it’s a pain) etc.

    i do remember that a couple of years ago kraft was thinking about building a stadium in southie for the revs. that would be ideal, but i don’t ever remember hearing anything since.

    the razor is a phenomenal complex, but yeah, i’d love to see a place of their own. however, kraft has done a wonderful job making both the revs and the pats winners, and if he’s going to cheap out on the revs yet again, then i trust him and his business prowess. i mean, he wasn’t featured in fortune or whatever mag for nothing! if anything, it’s the fans’ fault for not going to more games.

  6. You can safely upgrade from “conjecture” to “certainty” about a few things:

    It WILL be a 4-4-2.
    If Badilla doesn’t sign, Heaps will play centrally.
    If Delgado doesn’t sign, Albright will switch to left back.
    If they both don’t sign (unlikely), it will be Albright-Parkhurst-Valentino-Heaps.
    Ralston WILL be on the right wing. Thompson has already lost his job.
    If an attacking midfielder isn’t signed, either Castro (more likely, with Smith at left wing) or Joseph (with Castro at left mid and Larentowicz deep) will assume that role.
    Don’t count Mansally ahead of Cristman yet.

  7. Reid,

    Red Bull Park is being built one commuter train stop away from Newark Penn Station, which is a major Amtrak stop. Take the commuter (PATH) rail line in the other direction and you’re in Manhattan within 45 minutes. I think that’s pretty good accessibility, no?

  8. I just scanned the comments but has no one made even a passing joke about the fact that the Revolution brought in Castro in the same week that the original revolutionary Castro said he was stepping down to pusue other goals? M. Castro = F. Castro?!?!?!

  9. this would be great if ne signed a dp. a big target forward would be ideal to work with twellman, i just cant think of any who would make the move, lets see.

  10. Reid,

    Revs management, especially the one is in cotnrol of the SSS (Brian Biello) has stated they aren’t going to build it in Foxboro and are looking for a city stadium.

  11. Steven: I didnt mean to sound like a jerk. I just really hate all these teams moving the burbs. It does no justice to the fans or the sport by putting it out with the soccer moms and 8yr old kids. And myself along with my boys who go up to 2-3 games a year and 1-2 RB’s game a year would go a lot more often if the stadiums were on a major rail lines. Instead of having a few and then having to drive 45 min to get into the city. And also don’t mean to be a jerk… but somerville doesnt excite me, but if thats a close as it can go, then its def better then the boro

  12. Steven: I’ll believe it when i see it, they have blown smoke up my a$$ 1 too many times. I only talk about it cause i’m from CT…. I too know what i’m talking about when it comes to the Krafts

  13. Reid,

    The Krafts are looking at places inside 128 (boston), including a site in Somerville.

    Don’t run your mouth if you don’t know what you are talking about.

  14. I think the MLS transfer window (INBOUND transfers) closes in mid March. Also, someone told me that Feilhaber is “seeing” a girl from Boston, take that for what you will as part of a DP announcement.

  15. I find it hard to believe Kraft will ever build a stadium for the Revs, and if he does, he will do the fans no justice by building it in foxboro.
    I love watching the Revs and the RB’s play, but the atmosphere is horrible. Even with the new stadium for the RB’s its gonna be the same old story, are people really gonna go that far out of the city to see a game?

    Kraft please step up this summer, see if you can rent out the BU stadium for a couple games and watch the people flow in. NYRB, NER & DC take notice at what has happened in CHI, people don’t want to leave the city

    Joamiq – exactly, Kraft will string the fans of the Revs along just as he did with the Pats

  16. Kraft is closer to an SSS than has been let on at all. I remember the Gillette Stadium ordeal, all the more reason for kraft to keep his SSS closer to his chest. he doesn’t want to go through that again, nor does he want whats happened in NY and DC to happen to him.

  17. Andrew,
    Your comment was a joke, right? No MLS stadium is ever going to get built without the media reporting about it beforehand, but aside from that, since when is Kraft the wizard of secrecy in stadium construction? Have you already forgotten the saga that preceded the opening of Gillette Stadium?

  18. A few Revs thoughts from a Revs fan:

    I am happy to see Mansally scored a hat trick in the pre-season, but would caution getting too excited. I believe Kenny has talent, but in the 2006 Willie Sims also had a hat trick (against the Bermudan U21 team) in the pre season and then saw few minutes at all over the next two years before being released. Apples and Oranges, I know, but let us see how he fares against some better competition and with Twellman in the lineup. Kenny does stand to benefit from more opportunities given the number of gamesthe Revs are set to play this year.

    As long as the offense is geared towards Twellman the second forward will remain a set up man and a scavenger. This would be true for Cristman, Mansally, Noonan, any non-DP striker.

    I hope that the DP in question is a striker capable of creating his own opportunites or a less aged attacking midfielder (not likely). I hope it is not Figo. I hope that it is not a player who could decrease the Revs team speed, if that is possible.

    Lastly, not knowing anything more than the score of the Revs game against the Bermuda National team (minus Khano Smith) I am impressed that the Revs were able to score six times given this was their first match since November and Bermuda played more recently against the Cayman islands. More apples and oranges, but this made me wonder how does the relative strength of Bermuda and the Caymans compare to Barbados or the Domincan Republic? Will the US be able to win with as impressive a score? Not that the score really makes a difference, but will this be the year that the USMNT sees more goal production against weaker opponents?

  19. Postmaster, the DP probably wouldn’t come until the summer but New England has set the wheels in motion to use the slot this season.

  20. If it’s true, I’m not looking forward to seeing the Red Bulls play a reloaded Revolution, but it’d be good for the league.

    I’m not surprised that Cristman has been passed over. From what I’ve seen, he’s a big but uncoordinated and unskilled poacher.

  21. Sorry if I missed this, but how can NE acquire a DP now? Since the transfer window is closed, wouldn’t he have to be out of contract (and how many DP-quality players are just sitting around)? Are they thinking loan with later buy or some other creative option?


  22. MarkVA,
    Don’t think that just because you haven’t heard anything about a NE SSS doesn’t mean that work isn’t being done on that front. Wether Kraft is cheap or not, one thing you can’t argue is that the man is smart. He’s smart enough to avoid having all the bullsh*t you have to wade through to get a SSS being aired out in the media. Look at DC and NY, how long have we been talking about their stadiums? Years. And how many games have been played so far in these stadiums? None. Construction delays have held back RBPark for years, making their front office look like a complete joke. Political foodfights in DC have recieved full coverage in the media, yet they don’t get criticised because they’re trying. They’ve been failing for years. Kraft keeps his organization out of the papers, lets the coaches and players focus, and does his business right. Someday, out of the complete blue, Kraft will announce his stadium plans, construction will begin, complete, and the revs will be playing in it before you know it. There will be no hangups, no pushbacks, no media-documented falling out between the owners and a site or a town or the state.


  23. This whole Kraft is cheap thing is one of the dumbest and least knowledgable things out there. First, who is anyone on here to tell someone else how to spend their money? I hate it when fans call owners “cheap”. You pony up and pay for a franchise and the absorb the losses, even if you have the capital to do so. These owners didnt get into these positions by losing money. Second, how many years of losses have the Krafts taken on their investment in the MLS? And dont forget to add in the losses they took when they owned the San Jose franchise for a little while. Third, has the team not been succseful? They have, without spending big money like LA or NYC. They might be the Buffalo Bills when it comes to winning the big game, but you cannot argue the success. The Revolution are probably the only team in the league that has some kind of idea about what to do with its money, and thats not go out and spend it just because. Some of the other franchises in the league could learn from them.

  24. as a revs fan i say ya right. kraft is a cheap-0. he throws down money for the pats but will NEVER spend a dime on the revs. wonder why we’re one of the only teams not in talks to get a SSS or a development team? KRAFT = cheap

  25. Any news on whether Revs draftee Mike Videira is likely to sign with any Euro team?

    He was one of the top players coming out of college (another Dukie) but was expected to weigh his options overseas since he has a claim to a Euro passport. He slipped to the lower rounds of the draft because of it.

  26. The criticism of Noonan is ridiculous, kpugs. Compare his numbers to the other “2nd” forwards in the league. In fact, compare them to first forwards in the league. He stacks up VERY well. I think Cristman is still the 2nd choice . . . the kid has reeeal potential, though I think he would’ve been better served playing next to Noonan rather than Cap’n Poach, Taylor Twellman.

  27. I was a little worried about how NER would do this coming season, but I think Albright, Castro, Delgado and a top quality striker will see them push for the MLS Cup again.

    Once/If NER get a SSS, I see them becoming the cornerstone MLS team, one who can control the league. Kraft will have to pay attention and dig deeper.

  28. I’m purely speculating, but if I were a betting man than the Revs will go after a low grade DP, which means an older name. Claudio Lopez has been linked to MLS for a few months. I think its probably someone like him.

  29. Ives any word on the RBNY Marcinhio rumor (Brazilian in the Australian A League)? I assume that since it hasn’t appeared yet on SBI then there isn’t a lot of substance… yet.

  30. Kraft spending money on a DP? I’ll hold my breath. He would be better off signing Matt Walsh and taping some of the Dynamo’s pre game walk throughs.

  31. Of all the moves, I like the re-signing and placing on the senior team of young Gambian forward Kenny Mansally.
    This is kid is going to score a few goals this season and if given the chance, become a star in 2009.

  32. The only–repeat ONLY–reason the Revs have had so much success lately is because they play the TEAM game better than any club in MLS. Literally all of their success is based on how well they play together.

    This is the first season in a few years when they’ll have a shake-up in their lineup. You heard it hear first folks…the more new signings they have in the starting XI, the worse the start of their season will be. You put 2, 3, 4 new guys in this lineup and they are going to have to climb out of a hole to make the playoffs.

    And Andrew…I agree partially. I thought Cristman “looked good” from what little I saw of him last year. But 4 goals and 4 assists from 28 games (14 starts), well, they are not decent numbers. Having said that I was surprised to find out he wasn’t the number 2.

    And Revs fans should be thanking the soccer gods that useless Noo-nan is being useless for another team now. If only there was away to keep him away from the USA shirt.

  33. If they do I think NE could be a force. Now we know why they didn’t seem too worried with their off-season departures of Dorman and Noonan. Ives, I know Parkhurst and Albright are very good defenders, but how do you compare Delgado and Badilla to their back line of last year? Will this be an even stronger line? Not good news for RBNY. I wish we had gotten Sean Franklin in the draft. Please tell me Brunner will be just as good.

  34. Thanks so much for the Revs coverage Ives.

    I’ve got 2 questions:

    Where does Rob Valentino stack up in the defensive pecking order? Will he be competing for starts in central defense or is he more of a project at this time?

    Also, has Mansally really surpassed Cristman as 2nd choice striker? I dont think he saw a single minute of first team league play last year whereas Cristman saw plenty of time and put up some decent numbers? Is it less that Mansally’s a better forward than Cristman and more Mansally’s style of play compliments Twellman better than Cristman’s?

  35. one more thing… a good reason why they are probably getting a forward is because someoen might be leaving in the summer. a few more months of taylor twellman showing off his skills (which i dont think he has, but thats just my opinion)and then he’s off to europe.

  36. Wow. This is shocking. I think Castro looks good from the video I’ve seen and it was def. the position we needed. I’m sure a solid left back would be nice, but I wish we could see Amaechi Igwe play . . . Also, signing a forward bites. Cristman needs to start. We really should’ve let Twellman go . . . oh, and yes, Mansally seems to be doing quite nicely after the hat trick against Bermuda.


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