NOTE: Apologies for the late posting on this. The trip to Salt Lake City delayed the gathering/posting of the answers.
From Mike Burns:
Is the team looking to add a Designated Player?
It seems like since the inception of the Designated Player rule, we have gotten this question more often than not from our fans.
We have pursued and made offers to a couple of high-profile potential designated players in the past and will continue to do so if the opportunity arises. And when I say “high profile,” I mean a player who works for the Revolution both on and off the field. Any Designated Player would have to be someone whom our coaching staff feels gives a competitive advantage on the field, and someone whom our ownership and front office felt would give us a boost off the field in the community, through marketing, and by drawing additional fans, as well. I think the perception is that there are more of these players out there than do actually exist.
How involved is the first team staff with the youth teams?
We’ve invited a few of our youth team players to train with our first team, who have all done well. It gives our first-team coaching staff an opportunity to look at our youth players first hand.
Once our players graduate from our program – and we’re just getting into that phase where our players are “graduating” and going on to college – there are a couple of things we do. We keep in touch with their college coaches, our academy coaches watch them play in college and we invite the players back to train with us during school breaks so we can continue to monitor their development.
We believe we have the best program at the Under-16 and Under-18 levels in all of New England from a facilities standpoint, from a coaching standpoint and the fact that we’re the only fully-funded program in the region. We feel like those three areas are what separate us from any other organization in New England. On a team side, we’re very pleased that both our U16 and U18 teams advanced to the playoffs this season, and on an individual note, we’re confident that we’ll have Homegrown Players on the first-team roster in the coming years.
Can you describe the process of signing players?
One way we add a player to our roster is signing someone we draft from the college ranks. We draft him, we have the rights to him and MLS signs him to a contract to play for the Revs.
International signings are done in a variety of ways. You can arrange for a player to come on a loan, pay a transfer fee and sign him and/or get a player on a free transfer and add him to the roster.
The team’s needs are what dictate what type of players we’re looking to bring in. For example, the upcoming transfer window is July 15 – August 15, 2010, and we are looking to add attacking players to our roster in this window. We’ve had multiple trialists in training with us the last few weeks, and more in this week. We’ll continue to bring in players as adding attacking players is our primary goal right now.
In terms of identifying potential players to sign, we have a network of contacts (e.g. players, coaches, agents, etc.) that we speak with regularly. We can’t see every player, but they help us identify players we may want to invite in on a trial and/ or, in some cases, discuss the possibility of signing a contract with MLS to play for the Revs.
Have you considered getting players on loan to help the club?
During the last few years, we’ve had several players on the roster who have come on a loan, but our primary objective is to acquire players who make our team better. It really varies case to case. If we feel we’re getting someone that’s helping the team, we’re not as concerned how he’s acquired.
Have you looked for any reason why there have been so many injuries this year?
We look at our injuries every single year. We’ve tried to get data from the league in terms of our injuries compared to other MLS clubs, but that data is not available because it’s never been tracked. There’s no doubt that we feel we’ve been snake-bitten by a number of injuries this year – both random injuries and serious injuries. Look at Osei with a staph infection on his leg and he missed six weeks. You can never plan or predict something along those lines. Then obviously we had the horrific injury to Preston. With Taylor’s situation, everyone, including Taylor, was hoping he’d be back this year.
We’ve looked at everything from our medical staff to coaches to front office to training habits, on the field, off the field, and there’s been nothing or no indication of any one thing that anyone can put their finger on as to why we’ve had this rash of injuries this year.
How involved is the team in players’ rehabilitation, especially someone like Preston Burpo?
We are very hands on with our players’ rehab even though they are not able to play. Preston is just now to the point now that he’s rejoined us in the athletic training room and the locker room, and he’ll do his rehab with us.
Do you consider this a rebuilding year?
I’ve never been a fan of the world “rebuilding.” If fully healthy, we feel our current roster is more than capable of challenging for a league title. Unfortunately, it’s no secret we’ve been hit hard by injuries to some key players this season.
That said, if our roster can get and stay healthy – and we are able to add some players in the transfer window – we can have a strong second half of the season and continue our run into the playoffs.