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You just knew the run would end for the New England Revolution would eventually, but watch injuries destroy the Revs late in the year left you wondering whether these Revs can come back in 2009, or whether it’s time to rebuild.
New England certainly looked like the best team in MLS in the first half of the season, at least before a draining run through SuperLiga and the CONCACAF Champions League left the Revs on fumes.
When you consider how good the Revs were in the first half of the season you can’t help but think this same team doesn’t need much tweaking, but there are plenty of things that could happen this winter to leave you wondering just how different the ’09 Revs will be from the ’08 Revs.
Let’s take a quick look at some things to watch for this winter:
Will Michael Parkhurst leave? As far as walk years go, Parkhurst didn’t have a great one. The 2007 MLS defender of the year struggled at times this year, at least by the very high standard he set last season, but still proved to be the Revs best defender. Now that he is out of contract will become the latest Rev to leave? New England had to be hoping that Gabriel Badilla could be a future replacement, but he hasn’t exactly instilled confidence since joining the Revs.
Will Paul Mariner finally get a head coaching job? It’s tough to imagine Steve Nicol on the sidelines without his partner in crime by his side, but Mariner has long been considered one of the top coaching prospects in the league. Whether it’s Seattle or Colorado, Mariner very well could find a new gig come next season.
Do the Revs let Twellman go? Taylor Twellman has spent the past year pleading with New England to let him make a move to Europe. With the rapid development of Adam Cristman, Kheli Dube and Kenny Mansally, could New England consider it? Revs fans probably remember how well New England played without Twellman early in the season. The real question now is whether there is still interest from Europe for Twellman, who is now dealing with concussion-related symptoms that kept him out of the playoffs. Selling or Trading Twellman would only make sense if Michael Parkhurst left and they needed to make the deal to strengthen the defense. Even then, the Revs would be hard-pressed to replace their most clutch attacking player over the past five years.
Will New England use its Designated Player slot? The Revs showed for three straight years that a team could reach the MLS Cup final without a high-priced player, but it is becoming tougher to justify not using their DP slot. The salary-cap space is there (or at least it was in 2008). It’s time for New England to break down and either by a top striker or playmaker.
What do you see happening to the Revolution this off-season? What changes do you see taking place? Think Parkhurst will leave? Could the Revs really part ways with Twellman? Will New England shell out some big bucks for a designated player?
Share your thoughts below.