So until then, I'll ramble on about a current hot topic that could very well make this Revs team look even more different before this Saturday.
With the recent news of a player exodus from financially-distraught Glasgow Rangers, it is heavily rumored that US National Team captain Carlos Bocanegra and fellow US International Alejandro Bedoya could be on their way to MLS. Per the odd world of MLS rules, both players would be subject to the allocation selection used for returning US internationals. Our beloved New England Revolution currently hold the second pick in the allocation order, with Vancouver occupying the first pick, after Montreal used their pick on Eddie Johnson, subsequently trading him to Seattle. The perks of having a crap team....
This would be the scenario, of course, if Bocanegra and Bedoya actually do get released by Rangers and decide to catch on in MLS.
The Revs would be guaranteed the chance to pick one of these players. If Vancouver were to pick either one, my money would be on defender Bocanegra. Despite already having 8 defenders in the side, you have to consider that they just recently released new-signed Revs midfielder Lee Nguyen, who plays a rather similar role to that of Bedoya. It would be difficult for Vancouver to fit the former BC Eagle into their over-abundace of attacking riches. That would leave Bedoya there for the Revs taking.
In my opinion, it would be absolutely stupid of the Revs to pass on either of these players. While Bocanegra could fit in very nicely into our backline - new Colombian central defender John Lozano arrived with mixed reviews from followers of the Colombian league, and Chris Tierney is very replaceable at left back - Bedoya would be entering a very crowded midfield selection. Acquiring him could also create a very interesting scenario for the Revs, who are STILL very much deprived of a regular goal-scoring threat(s) - a trade. Whether it be Bedoya himself or a player or two already in the side (thus making room for Bedoya in the team), the Revs could finally have some value to trade for a much-needed proven forward. I'll get more into the forward situation once our team is finalized.
Being the revisionist nerd that I am, the possibility of the Revs being awarded a returning USMNT player for the second year in a row led me to think of something a bit intersting - how many current/former USMNTers the Revs have fielded since their inception, and what would a first XI compiled of said USMNTers who played for the Revs look like. So here it is, because I'm bored and love talking Revs/USMNT - a list of Revs, both current and former, who have at one time or another suited up for the US Men's National Team (1994 World Cup vet Mike Sorber doesn't count, as he was a Rev for only about 15 minutes back in 2000):
Matt Reis (with Revs 2003-current), Juergen Sommer (2000-2002), Ian Feuer (1998) Juergen Sommer - 8 caps, 2 World Cups (1994,1998)
Alexi Lalas (1996-1997), Carlos Llamosa (2002-2005), Cory Gibbs (2010), Mike Burns (1996-2000), Chris Albright (2008-2009), Michael Parkhurst (2005-2008), Jay Heaps (2001-2009), Joe Franchino (2000-2008), Dan Calichman (1999-2000), Ted Chronopoulos (1996-2002), Zak Ibsen (1996)
Carlos Llamosa - 29 caps, 1 World Cup (2002)
Clint Dempsey (2004-2006), John Harkes (1999-2001), Benny Feilhaber (2011-current), Steve Ralston (2002-2010), Jeff Larentowicz* (2005-2009), Clyde Simms (2012-current), Lee Nguyen (2012-current), Imad Baba (1996-2000), Janusz Michallik (1998), Yari Allnut (2001), Jeff Baicher (1999), Peter Woodring (1996), Leo Cullen (2001-2003), John DeBrito (1996), Erik Imler (1997)
Benny Feilhaber - 39 caps, 1 World Cup (2010)
Joe-Max Moore (1996-1999, 2003-2004), Eric Wynalda (2000-2001), Taylor Twellman (2002-2010), Pat Noonan (2003-2007), John Kerr Jr (1996-1997), John Wolyniec* (2001)
Eric Wynalda - 106 caps, 3 World Cups ('90, '94, '98)
* cap(s) came after days as a Rev.
My first XI (based on tenure/success with USMNT):
GK: Juergen Sommer (capped 1994-1998)
D: Alexi Lalas (1991-1998)
D: Carlos Llamosa (1998-2002)
D: Cory Gibbs (2003-2006)
D: Mike Burns (1992-1998) (...shudder...)
M: John Harkes (1987-2000)
M: Clint Dempsey (2004-current)
M: Benny Feilhaber (2007-current)
M: Steve Ralston (1997-2007)
F: Eric Wynalda (1990-2000)
F: Joe-Max Moore (1992-2002)
Joe-Max Moore - 100 caps, 3 World Cups (1994, 1998, 2002)
Clint Dempsey - 83 caps, 2 World Cups (2006, 2010)
That is actually not a bad team (Burns aside...). Every player was part of at least one World Cup squad, save Ralston who was an alternate in 2006. (the only other midfielder who came close to a WC was Jansuz Michallik, who earned many caps in the over-abundance of friendlies leading up to USA 1994). Chris Albright was considered in place of either Gibbs and Burns, but I chose Gibbs as he was initially chosen for the 2006 side over Albright, and Burns was lucky enough to play in an era of little-to-no defensive depth for the US, hence his 75 caps and 2 World Cups.
Comments? Thoughts? Criticism? My goal is to stimulate some enjoyable soccer conversation, so have at it!
Again, season preview coming soon (is it any surprise that the team is still not yet complete with less than a week til First Kick...?)