A first look at some new faces

upperrightRevolution fans will be delighted to know that Niouky Desire has officially arrived in the United States, joined up with the Revs in North Carolina and took the field with his new teammates for the first time duing this afternoon’s training session at WakeMed Soccer Park. On the flip side, headline writers around the league will be gutted to hear the news that he actually does not go by the name Niouky Desire. Let me explain …

Almost all foreign players who come into Major League Soccer create slight issues with their names upon arrival, because it’s customary in other parts of the world for children to take both their mother’s and father’s last names (or so I’m told). Hence, most players who come into the league have four names. This was the case with Louis Joseph Desire Niouky. Of course, we were initially told that his name was Niouky Desire, so that’s what we went with … but when we actually asked the player how to pronounce his name after training today, we discovered that he actually goes by Joseph Niouky. First name Joseph, last name Niouky. Pronounced with the correct French accent it should sound something like zho-SEF nyou-KEE.

As a point of reference,  Niouky is not the first Rev to create this issue. Last year, Stephane Assengue was originally announced as Stephane Ombiogno, while the league’s official files still list Mauricio Castro as Mauricio Matamoros.

So, the main storyline here is clearly that headline writers have lost all of the “Desire” puns … oh well.

Niouky was not the only unfamiliar face working out in Revolution gear this afternoon, as trialists Gareth Williams and Andres Raad also suited up and ran through a light session. For those of you wondering about Marko Perovic, I believe he was in the process of being picked up from the airport while training was taking place, so we should see him for tomorrow morning’s session.

While it was impossible to decipher anything about Niouky, Williams or Raad’s playing ability because the session consisted essentially of a jog and stretch and some light passing drills, I did at least get a look at them in the flesh. Below is a picture of each with some very basic information …


Joseph Niouky – The Senegalese midfielder wore #23 and by my estimation was approximately five-foot-ten and 170 pounds. During a three-person drill, Niouky made quick friends with fellow Africans Sainey Nyassi and Kenny Mansally.


Gareth Williams – A Scottish midfielder, Williams wore #17 and was approximately six-foot-one and 180 pounds. During a free-flowing passing drill in which players roamed around one half of the field connecting on passes, Williams spent much of his time delivering balls from the left corner into Edgaras Jankauskas, who was finishing in the box.


Andres Raad – The Ecuadorian, who wore #32, stands at approximately five-foot-eight and 160 pounds, and paired up with fellow trialist Williams and Edgaras Jankauskas in the three-person drill.

As an additional note in case anyone hasn’t heard, goalkeeper Rylan Hawkins is no longer in camp with the Revolution. Joining up as the current third healthy goalkeeper along with Preston Burpo and Bobby Shuttleworth is Tim Murray, who played his college soccer with the Providence Friars. Here’s an action shot from today’s session …



I know that the info on these guys is still a little scant right now, but you’ll have to take my word that really nothing could be taken from watching them jog, stretch and pass the ball around casually. Tomorrow we’ll surely get to see them in some real-live action, and they’ll presumably be joined by the third trialist, Perovic.

I’ll check back in tomorrow after training – which is set for 10 a.m. – with some further updates.


  1. Jeff Lemieux says:

    Just to follow up on one piece of information in this blog post, I can confirm that Marko Perovic has arrived and was at the team meal tonight. So, he will suit up for his first training session tomorrow morning.

  2. Steven says:

    Thanks for the update! It’s pretty exciting to see some faces to the names we heard. I’m really looking forward to the training updates from NC. Keep up the amazing work.

  3. Raúl García says:

    Andrés Raad!!! What a great adquisition for the team. He was the first forward and the one who scored the most in our university´s team. Go for it Andy, a huge group in Ecuador is following you and New England Revolution soccer team. A Great Team and a great player.
    Good luck!

  4. Pete Finnigan says:

    Yes..Raad is young and great player.
    He has to play with New England.
    Go Andy , Go ..

  5. rkupp says:

    Hey Raul, where has Andres played in his career?

  6. Andrew says:

    quick question for ya, Jeff: how is Niouky’s english?

  7. Jeff Lemieux says:

    Andrew – French is Niouky’s first language, and from what little interaction I’ve witnessed, his English is very, very limited. As we’ve seen in the past, however, the new guys tend to pick up English relatively quickly.

    As a side note on the trialists, Perovic and Raad are at the very least conversational in English … and of course Williams is Scottish, so no issues there.

  8. Andrew says:

    Thanks, Jeff.

    I asked because it seemed that Osei had some communication problems with his Barnes and Reis at points last year.

  9. ivan primak says:

    andres raad is a really talented player, and the most important thing is that he is hungry for opportunity, he is a really talented player, i have played against him and he has demonstrated his quialities as a professional and a great person, go for it andy!! Argentina is with you!

  10. Pato Arroyo says:

    GOOO ANDYYY!!!! dale con toooooodooo…solo rompela como sabes!


    QUE VARONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN y para que entraste a la u!!!!!… y yo que queria hacer OFC denuevo y llamarte como figura.. jajaja.. un abrazo…

  12. Sandy Raad says:

    Andy dale con todo como siempre eres excelente tu puedes :)

  13. da monk says:

    Andres Raad is an outstanding player, I think he will be of great importance for this team. I’m sure the best decission the Revolution can make is to hire him.

  14. Ricardo Mena says:

    The best USFQ player ever. Vamos ahí Andy como las ratas.

  15. Turu says:

    Well, Andrés is a great player, sure he showed us his skills in Ecuador for many years, it is time for the New England Revolution to use his talent!

  16. Gaby Sánchez says:

    Andriuca dale con todo ya sabes que te estamos apoyando desde aca!!!! suerte y demuestra lo que eres!!!!

  17. Sebastian Sanchez says:

    Andy is the best player I have played with, definitely he is the first choice when playing with and the one to mark when playing against, he is tireless!. Go Andy!

    He plays as a midfielder, he is an excellent player when not facing the goal an even deadlier when so.

  18. joe says:

    Great to see all the players in camp plus a big push for Andres Raad. It is good to see Tim Murray called into camp. I have seen him play for PC, And he is a solid keeper, who has kept the Friars in many Big East games with his saves. Maybe he could give Shuttleworth a run for his money for that third keeper spot.

  19. fontana says:

    Andres is an outstanding athlete, and a great player, but an even better person.
    dale andy raad con todo y sin miedo un abrazo y aqui estaremos apoyandote y pendientes

  20. Pollo Romero says:

    Andres Raad rucky tucky lu lu es crack.. he will make Ecuador proud when he is part of the New England Revolution team.. con todo broo

  21. Animalecs says:

    GO A-RAAD!!!

  22. Lisa Crist says:


    told yoou so…congats.. keep playing hard.. and keep pushin thru..you´ve got this…they´ve got nothing on u… can´t wait to hear more… goodluck my friend

  23. Messi says:

    Will be the first Ecuadorian player ever playing at the Revs.
    After that, national team of Ecuador.
    Go Andy..
    Tomorrow kick them..with at least two goooooolllllllll.

  24. Checho says:

    Vamos andy…manana es tu día…
    Queremos un gol por lo menos.

    Checho , Andrea y Camila
    Rossana , Ana Lia y los rusos..
    Te queremos

  25. Jackie says:

    Andy,It was exciting to watch and read all the coments. Good luck!!! tomorrow.

    We are your number one fans…..

  26. CHiNO says:

    I’ve heard many great things about Andres Raad. My best friend’s brother plays on his team in Ecuador and he (and many others) say he’s outstanding, extremely skilled and smart on the field. He’s played for my school (USFQ) in Quito and has been one of the best to ever play for the school. US teams need these types of players, with different and outstanding style and quality. Vamos carajo!

  27. Viktor L'Burrouh says:

    As a former coach, I am extremely proud that one of the most talented soccer players I have ever met has made it so far. I knew since the first time I saw Andres Raad play that sooner or later his skills, dedication and passion for the game would be recognized. NE Revolution will be extremely benefited to have such a versatile, committed and enthusiastic young player on its team. My congratulations and best wishes to Andres!

  28. Viktor L'Burrouh says:

    Andres is a young outstanding and skillful player that can contribute greatly as an addition to the team with a different and flexible style of game. He has a lot of experience on the field and most important of all he is an extremely devoted athlete. As it has already been said, US teams need players like him! Go Andres!

  29. Daniel Jacome says:

    Andy Raad looks like a phenomenal player. He has fast foot and touch to the ball. Hope he gets a chance in the team, it would be good to see him play in there. Good luck to him. SI SE PUEDE RUQUIS

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