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Jul
06

Player personnel answers

mike_burnsNOTE: 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.

84 comments

  1. George Palmer says:

    Forget Fire Bob Bradley, Fire Mike Burns.

    And to any in your organization who will say “oh do you think you could do better” why yes I do.

    Take me up on the offer, I’ll even work for free

  2. CH says:

    JMH,

    I agree with dave more than you, but yes i believe that nyouky isn’t as good as they thought but the others are showing that they have skill s, they just need an experience player that can connect the strikers and the midfield together.

  3. Paul says:

    The Revs need serious rebuilding – and not with has-beens or with a crowd of last-year’s college grads or players who wouldn’t be starters on other teams. Revs management has brought the team to this turning point, and everyone is watching to see how you conduct yourselves.

    Already management is being branded as not being fully committed. The Media, the STH’s, and observers from around the league and the soccer world are watching. The actions you managers take in the next few months could set the tone for Major League Soccer in New England for years to come.

    Make us proud.

  4. Sean says:

    Absolutely awful answers. There was absolutely nothing of interest or worth there. I seriously doubt your qualifications for this job. The fans deserve better

  5. Moses says:

    Mike Burns, you are not a player anymore. You are a high level business executive in the sports entertainment industry. When you share information and insight about the team through media outlets you are helping to build and sustain interest in a commercial product.

    This product is currently tied for the worst record in the league. By vaguely answering the DP and rebuilding questions, you missed an opportunity to address fan disappointment and market future hope that the product will improve.

    We expect players to always say they believe in the team. We expect the front office to MAKE the fans believe in the team by putting the best product they can on the field.

    Mr. Burns, the product you are selling is sub-par. I am loyal to your product but hope you are actively looking at ways to improve it. It would mean a lot to me if you could share some specific opportunities you are looking into or have looked at recently to do that. Thank you.

  6. d3 says:

    I was censored because i ripped Burns, listen, i have been coming to games and am a season ticket holder supporting this pathetic francise since 96, the few fans you have been able to keep see right through the bs you keep dishing us, be honest with the fans or you will keep losing them.

    For you guys to chaulk this season up to injurys is PATHETIC, ralston, k smith, Jankauskas, barns, burpo, colaluca, and videira. no offence to the players but these guys would have problems beating a college team.

  7. Stoehrst says:

    After Bilello came out and gave some honest and hopeful answers to HIS fan questions last week I had high expectations for the stuff we’d hear from Burns. I see my optimism was rooted in fantasy.

    Mike, did you really just try to explain to us how a draft works?

    And NO ONE IS BUYING THIS CRAP ABOUT DPs ANYMORE. If we sign a high-priced player that can perform on the field and helps us win, THE SUCCESS WILL BREED MARKETABILITY. That’s BASIC SPORTS BUSINESS.

    I posted a more complete response to this on American Soccer News. At the risk of raising Jeff’s ire, I’ll link it. http://revs.american-soccer-news.com/?p=767

  8. slowly-losing-faith-Revsfan says:

    “With Taylor’s situation, everyone, including Taylor, was hoping he’d be back this year.”

    Thats true, I think every single New England Revolution fan was HOPING he’d be back this year.
    However, I think most Revs fans were assuming he wouldn’t be back this year or ever.
    So how come the front office couldnt see this coming and/or plan around it?

  9. Steve Distraught says:

    My disgust with how the FO does things was solidified when at the supporters summit this spring, Mike Burns was asked “where are the goals going to come from?” and his response was “Well, he has a concussion right now, I am only half joking” That statement proved to me that this franchise was not going to take the steps necessary to make the Revs a competitive team. I am losing interest in this team very fast. I feel bad for the players because they are trying their best, but the management is obviously not committed so why should I be a committed fan?

  10. backseat says:

    LOVE seeing all the passion in the responses above. Fans only get pissed off when they care about their team! If we didn’t you wouldn’t any responses to the post. Keep up the pressure on management and we will see the results we want! A dangerous team with a legit shot the playoffs next yr.

  11. The Doctor says:

    How is colaluca not starting for this team. He started and played the full game in Colorado Last year and dominated the game he makes things happen exactly what this team needs. Why hasn’t he been on the field if he’s not injured and just sitting on the bench when their are 5 or 6 players consistently playing who would’nt start for my sons high school team?

  12. Another Frustrated Fan says:

    None of you outraged fans happen to be multi-billionaires, do you? Because one of the best and easiest ways to address these management issues would be to make Kraft an offer he can’t refuse.

  13. Ken says:

    The elephant in the room is money, or Kraft’s unwillingness to spend more than he has already.

    Twellman’s salary is a huge constraint on bringing in quality players. We hear nothing of the front office’s efforts to get Taylor off the books for salary cap purposes. Why? Because to add a quality replacement would represent an unbudgeted expense, and Kraft doesn’t want to spend the extra money.

    If you haven’t got it by now, “the right fit” designated player doesn’t exist. By definition, a quality professional who earns standard global wages will never “fit” on the Revs roster. Part of this is the legitimate fear of disrupting team chemistry (ref: Beckham and his teammates), but mostly it’s money. Making this investment is not part of the business plan.

    The Revs have always underfunded their marketing efforts, underpaid their players, an until this year, over-achieved on the pitch. With all the injuries, and especially Twellman’s, it’s finally caught up to them.

  14. Disappointed Revs Fan says:

    The fans are speaking and demonstrating our passion for the club. Hopefully management is listening so positive change can happen. We all want this team to succeed so the ball is in your court. Show us you care as much as we do so we can move forward collectively and once again be proud to support this club.
    Go Revs.

  15. joe says:

    1. Release Twellman and make room for more salary signings. 2. Sign a playmaking midfielder. 3. Sign a forward who can score goals on a consistent basis. Finally if Kraft were to build a sss he would have built it in Foxboro. He is dragging his feet on this issue because he will lose revenue at Gillette in the summer months.

  16. d3 says:

    good job burns, way to give us some insite on the team. You guys seem like a bunch of bumbeling donkeys in the front office. Badilla, castro, burpo, albright, smith, Jankuaskas

  17. d3 says:

    PLAYER SALERIES

    NE Alston Kevin D $ 124,000.00
    NE Barnes Darrius D $ 56,250.00
    NE Boggs Zak F-M $ 40,000.00
    NE Burpo Preston GK $ 70,000.00
    NE Castro Mauricio M $ 77,750.00
    NE Colaluca Nico M $ 133,000.00
    NE Dube Mkhokheli $ 89,000.00
    NE Gibbs Cory D $ 128,142.86
    NE Griffiths Jason M $ 40,000.00
    NE Jankuaskas Edgaras F $ 240,000.00
    NE Joseph Shalrie M $ $ 475,000.00
    NE Mansally Kenny F-M $ 72,500.00
    NE Murray Tim GK $ 40,000.00
    NE Niouky Desire M $ 53,000.00
    NE Nyassi Sainey M $ 76,750.00
    NE Osei Emmanuel D $ 52,875.00
    NE Perovic Marko M $ 190,000.00
    NE Phelan Pat M $ 40,000.00
    NE Reis Matt GK $ 182,011.00
    NE Schilawski Zack F $ 42,500.00
    NE Shuttleworth Robert GK $ 40,000.00
    NE Sinovic Seth D $ 40,000.00
    NE Smith Khano M-F $ 50,004.00
    NE Tierney Chris D-M $ 40,000.00
    NE Twellman Taylor F $ 459,500.00
    NE Videira Michael M $ 40,000.00

  18. d3 says:

    OK, i am playing GM for a minute,
    release twellman, work something out so he is happy in NE making money on TV or radio or somewhere in the orginization
    savings 470,000

    Cut Coluca
    savings 130,000

    Release Reis (to bad we dont have B Knighton for 40,000)
    savings 180,000

    release Smith
    Savings 50,000

    release Jankuaskas
    Savings 240,000

    Alston worth 140,000? I dont think so but what ever

    TOTAL ANNUAL SAVINGS
    ***1.07M***

    without losing a step!!!

  19. Stoehrst says:

    I’m surprised at the people who are quick to jump on the “cut everyone” bandwagon. Specifically in response to d3:

    Colaluca is NOT making $130,000. That HAS to be a typo or a mistake. My first instinct is to say don’t cut him, he hasn’t been given a chance to prove himself, but if he’s really a six-figure guy then drop him YESTERDAY.

    Don’t cut Reis. Honestly, just because he’s high-paid and was recently injured doesn’t mean we should drop a former US international and one of the best keepers in the league.

    Other than that we’re in agreement.

  20. Andrew says:

    @stoehrst colaluca is generation adidas, so no surprise at 6 figures.

  21. LEBRON JAMES says:

    Colaluca has more talent in his left foot than half the starters on the team. Why isn’t he playing? Probably because he likes to play soccer instead of the English style kickball that nichols must seem to love to watch from the sidelines. The problem is you can’t play english style soccer in the MLS with a forward who is 5’3 and midfielders who aren’t creative enough to make anything happen.

  22. d3 says:

    no typo unless MLS players union made a mistake, you can get all the saleries on that site. Alston and Colaluca are both gen addidas making over 100k. every year we are just waisting so much money, Kraft has to get more involved and understand how disfunctional the front office is.

  23. joe says:

    i want an ownership team that knows and cares about soccer. im not wasting 200 plus dollars next year on a terrible product that has only gotten worse the past few years. when any teams that have a brain loose players like noonen, dempsey, and dorman, they replace them with good players. the revs just took the cheap way out by replacing them with rookies. shame on anyone who runs this team

  24. Jay says:

    Really enjoyed the lemonade at the long term season ticket holders celebration anyway.

  25. revolutionsoccer says:

    Just wanted to clarify a couple of the league rules for everyone as there is a lot of discussion related to potential roster moves.

    First of all, injured players (even those on season ending injury) cannot be cut, waived, bought out, etc. to save cap space. Those salaries stay on your books.

    Also, Generation Adidas players do not count against your salary cap.

  26. Andy says:

    Something’s really gotta change…
    For the sake of being a broken record,
    this team’s front office has done a terrible job convincing its fans that they are doing everything they can to make this team a competitive one that takes itself seriously (as something other than a showcase to area youth players) compared to its 15 (soon to be 17) peers in MLS.
    Injuries or no injuries, it’s appalling, and over the past 3 years it seems as though nothing has changed while the rest of the league is thriving…
    A) Get a shirt sponsor. The revenue it will add speaks for itself.
    B) Get a new stadium within the next two years. I know the plans for a Somerville site have been re-launched, but a white heat fire needs to be lit under it…this is just embarassing by this point.

    I will always love and support this team no matter what (so many other New England teams have been in deeper holes reputation-wise) and so will thousands of others, but trying our patience/loyalty is not the way to see how loyal we are.

  27. Steve Distraught says:

    Just for the record, because they won last night doesn’t make all of the above comments disappear and everything is NOT better. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  28. slughog says:

    Want the perfect DP for the Revs:

    1. A legendary Brazilian that would bring Brazilians to the stadium in flocks
    2. That could live practically anonymously while the Brazilian and European media are driving him nuts
    3. Past his prime, but still crazy skilled
    4. A creative striker – exactly what we need
    5. A supportive Brazilian community
    6. Record holder of most goals scored in World Cups EVER (as of this morning)

    RONALDO EL FENOMENO!!!!

    Burns – Make it happen, cap’n!
    I can’t imagine any amount of money being too much for a one-year contract. Earn your salary and get it done!

  29. JMH says:

    Hey Fans all that had to happen was for me to rip them in this blog , and LOOK WHA’ HAPPENED. ;)

    But seriously folks, if Nyassi plays like that every week who could complain. OK OK OK he HAS to stop jabbering at the refs but a really strong game from him.

    And if Gibbs sits another week and Barnes plays that well again I can’t complain there either. And no long throws from him too! Hate that play, they do it too way too often or at least they did last year.

    And Perovic scores on a set piece! PRICELESS.

    Corrections: I referred to Griffiths as Matthews in previous post, not sure why except to say I grew up in the 70′s and things like that happen to me more and more these days. ;)

    Sorry the kid got hurt but he did not wow me while he was out there like he did Feldman and Heaps. He gave the ball away too too easily and twice it resulted in odd man breaks the other way. Nyouky (huh…wha…??/) played better than Griffiths did when he got in there. Jos. N still looks lost too much of the time though.

    Anyone else see SN tell Zach that he “ran his ba*** off” when he shook his hand after subbing for him. Zach really did too. Kid follows the game plan. Kudos.

    Why would Ronaldino come here? Someone give me one real reason why he would do that? There isn’t money left in MLS for him to do that is there?

    Another question: why are Revs playing in Superliga, what are the qualification rules for that?? Are they any??? Didn’t Univision used to televise it???

  30. joe says:

    JMH, Telefutura, a secondary channel owned by Univision is showing all the Superliga games. The Revs are in Superliga because they made the post season last year. The MLS champion is in the Concacaf Champions League, While the rest of the playoff teams including the MLS runner-up play in Superliga.

  31. JMH says:

    Thanks Joe!

  32. Revsfan says:

    Check out this article on NYRB discussing how they signed Thierry Henry and compare it to these answers given by Revs brass.

    This is why the Revs will never get a DP:
    http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/red-bulls-brass-reveals-how-henry-deal-was-done

  33. typical says:

    i personally will not be attending a single revolution game until a new stadium is under construction, or a dp is signed- and i will encourage everyone i know to do the same…

    kraft is motivated solely by money: if he starts losing revenue when the team doesnt perform, he will either sell the team or make an adjustment

  34. The New England Revolution: Planning for an Agile 2011 « Soccer Soap Box says:

    [...] production, fan support, as well as a direct impact to ticket sales. In fact, Mike Burns, when answering questions from fans, specifically said “Any Designated Player would have to be someone whom our coaching staff [...]

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