Revolution 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.