Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Introducing Badilla

The official introduction by the team may be a few days out, but we thought this was a good time to profile the Revs newest addition. Badilla may very well be their biggest international signing since Abundis in 2006 (and hopefully more successful). Badilla comes here as a relatively young defender, that can help the team in the future, as well as this season.

Gabriel Badilla Segura is a 24 year old defender from Costa Rica. In 2001 Badilla burst onto the Costa Rican football scene. As a 17 year old, he captained the countries U-17 World Cup squad. After winning their group, they then lost in the quarterfinals to eventual third place winners, Burkina Faso. Badilla received much praise after the tournament for his leadership, and quality defending.

That year he also made his debut for Costa Rican powerhouse Deportivo Saprissa. In his time at Saprissa, he helped the team win a number of domestic championships. He began to see regular time in 2004, and has been a staple in the side ever since. Playing in over 120 matches for his club, he has score 12 goals.

In 2005 the club won the CONCACAF Champions Cup, and earned a birth into FIFA's Club World Cup. Badilla helped the club reach the semifinals of the Club World Cup, but lost to Liverpool. They then beat Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad in the third place match, while representing the CONCACAF region. Gabriel was later considered one of the best defenders in the tournament, and began to perk interest abroad, though he stayed at his domestic club. The club was also the runner up in the CCC in 2004, and earlier this year.

At the senior international level, Badilla helped his country qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. He started in Costa Rica's final group match against Poland. In all he, has earned 8 caps for his country, and looks to be a key figure in their qualifications for the 2010 World Cup.

Gabriel Badilla comes to the Revolution as a very accomplished club/international defender, despite his relatively young age. He looks to be a player that can help stabilize a thin back-line in New England, and can play a number of roles. He has played as a left back in the 3 back-line, and as a central defender in the 4-back set. While his definitive place along the Revolution defense is unknown to us at this time, his versatility shows that he could easily be a contributing member of this defense almost right away.

Before he joins New England, Badilla will play in Costa Rica's World Cup qualifier tomorrow. He will then join the Revolution sometime in the days following that qualifier. His experience at both the international, and club level will surely provide a good element to a reeling Revolution team, in the heart of a brutal schedule down the stretch.

So as a voice for New England, we would like to welcome our newest player, and wish him luck with his new team. He has the support of a region behind him. We hope that he can help bring the glory with him that he has seen at his former club.

Glory Glory Revolution!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Badilla Signing Official

New England has sent out a press release today that announces the official signing of 24 year old Costa Rican defender, Gabriel Badilla.

Last week it was reported in Costa Rican news sources, and today the signing was officially announced. This signing comes at a crucial time, as the team has shown a bit of fatigue during a packed schedule.

Dog Days

Since winning Superliga just under two weeks ago, the Revs have shown more than just a chink in their armor. First was the late collapse against Chicago at home. Then it was b-sides defeat to DC in the Open Cup semifinals.

This week might have been the worst of them all. A 4-0 loss to San Jose on Saturday put the Revs behind Columbus in the table for the first time in a few months. New England looked slow, unimaginative, and somewhat disinterested on Saturday. The fixture congestion, coupled with the loss of Dube and Parkhurst absence for the Olympics, seems to really be wearing on the team.

The Revs have another match against DCU midweek. It is their chance to use their game in hand, and retake the top spot in the table. The congested schedule may be the contributing factor to the recent poor form, but it is no excuse. It isn't time to panic yet, but if they drop any more points this week, and against Toronto on the weekend, then it may be time to put the hand on the button.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Transfer Window Closed

For weeks now New England fans have questioned the teams depth, and wondered if any help would be coming via the summer transfer window. In the midst of the most challenging part of the schedule, it appeared pretty glaringly this week that the Revs needed some help heading dow the stretch. With a bad loss at home to Chicago, and an even more embarrassing exit from the Open Cup, the Revs showed a chink in their armor for the first time all season. Just a week after winning Superliga, fans were left wondering what the future held.

Early in the week we had reported that the Revs were in pursuit of Costa Rican defender Gabriel Badilla. Multiple reports out of Costa Rica, and even quotes from Badilla, had him coming to the Revs soon. However, today the transfer window shut, and no official news on the signing was announced. We will withhold judgment on this development until things are made more clear. However, it is still a bit disconcerting that no official word has been made.

There was also a rumor this week that we did not see very viable, so we did not report it. Benny Feilhaber was supposedly being pursued by the Revs, and he was interested in MLS. However, he has since signed with Danish club Aarhus.

Corey Gibbs was also rumored to perk the Revs interest. The 28 year old US international had decided to come back to MLS after numerous injuries had hampered his European career. Again, the player singed elsewhere. Colorado announced his signing a few days ago.

We also heard another long shot rumor of Eddie Lewis being signed by the Revs, but again it was only a baseless rumor.

The Revs did make one move however. Today the Revs traded the number one allocation position to Toronto for allocation cash. Toronto quickly used the position to snap up US U-20 player Johann Smith, who had been playing for Bolton in England. It is possible that this move was made because the club realized that it could not find any suitable upgrades with the allocation position. Being a couple hundred thousand dollars under the salary cap means that it is unlikely that they made the move just to afford Badilla under the cap. It is doubtful that he would earn more than the team had under the cap.

Again it seems that Nicol, Burns and Tornberg have made a move for the future. They have still not shown the willingness to panic, and make a signing for the sake of making a signing. It is quite possible that they are only waiting for the right situations to come along, before they use their allocations, be it cash or position. It is also possible that they made a run at Benny Feilhaber, and once they found out he could not be signed, they realized that their allocation position was not as valuable as cash.

While the Revs seemingly have not made any moves (aside from the potential signing of Badilla), does the team have enough for the rest of the season? If Badilla is truly coming in, then I think it addresses a serious need along the backline. Still, this is the deepest team in MLS, and the best team in MLS. It isn't time to panic...yet

Glory Glory Revolution!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Revs Give Up On USOC

When I looked at the two lineups before the game last night, I already knew the result.

It is clear that Nicol places the value of this tournament very low on his list of priorities throughout the season. As much as the nostalgia of this tournament tries to grab at its viewers, it never gains any momentum. Even the Cup holders couldn't be bothered to play a first team in a semifinal, against a potent DCU side.

So my question is, if the Revs don't care about this cup, then why should we?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Badilla 'Packing Bags' for New England?

According to this article in la Republica, 24 year old Costa Rican international defender Gabriel Badilla has signed on with New England. Here is a portion of the article:

El defensor morado Gabriel Badilla, alista maletas para viajar a la MLS.
La dirigencia saprissista logró vincularlo al equipo del New England Revolution, y Badilla partirá para los Estados Unidos el 22 de este mes.

Back in the early part of the year it was reported that the Revolution were pursuing the Central American defender, but talks stalled through the spring. Now it looks as though a deal is all but made official, and the Revolution will see some help on a struggling back-line.

The article states that he would not join New England until the 22nd, so we are still over a week away from seeing him in training here. However, his ability could prove important down the stretch. The Revs are in the beginning of their most testing part of the season, and could use some serious help on the back-line.

We intend on doing a profile of the player if/when the signing is made official.

UPDATE: Reported here in the Diario Extra, by MARCELINO RIVERA SALAZAR. According to the report, Revolution GM Craig Tornberg met with Saprissa officials. Velara, Saprissa Vice President, said that a deal has "99% possibility."

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Noonan to Columbus Official

Updating an earlier post:

The trade of Pat Noonan to the Crew has been completed. The Revs receive a first round pick in the super draft next season, allocation money and the teams have swapped allocation positions. The Revs moved from 10th up to 3rd in the allocation standings.

story from mlsnet.com

Like we stated before, it is ridiculous that the Revs are allowed to trade a player that they opted not to sign 8 months ago.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Join, or Die?

It seems somewhat fitting that a show of unity, and protest against a governing body, would begin here in New England. It also seems a bit fitting that the team which represents our own American Revolution, would be at the forefront of such an action. Seeing a group of players, from two separate teams, unite after a cup final is something very special and unprecedented.

At the conclusion of last nights Superliga Final, in Foxboro Massachusetts, both teams stayed on the pitch and exchanged jerseys. To football supporters, the tradition of jersey sharing has become very normal. However, the practice has almost never been done after a one-off match, especially in a final. This led to a very interesting scene, as Revolution players were celebrating their victory in Houston Dynamo orange. Player to player on the Revs were adorned in the bright orange jersey, and the whole situation seemed to be a bit confusing at first. It wasn't until I saw Josephs dreds, and an orange shirt on his shoulder when I realized that they were all Revolution players.

In another show of protest against SUM, when the trophy was presented, the players immediately took the cup over to it's supporters in the Fort to show their love for the fans. It seemed as though a presentation was scheduled on the podium, but was thrown for a loop when the players took to trophy and ran over to the supporters section.

Prior to the game, it was reported that the players from both teams had agreed to split the winnings for Superliga. This was done in protest to the story which came out weeks early which revealed that the winning players in Superliga would only win a fraction of the reported 1 million dollar prize. Just hours later Don Garber spoke out and squashed the action by stating that it was against the collective bargaining agreement.

Few times in players union/management disputes, in any sport, have players shown the type of level headed solidarity. Often times players unions have made rash decisions that seem only to help themselves, without any consideration for it's fans or the sport in general. What was witnessed last night was something to behold. After 110 minutes of open play football, and 16 penalty kicks the Revolution and Dynamo stood together, united for themselves, but also for its fans and the game of football. It would have been easy for either, or both teams to mail it in last night, given the small amount of financial incentive. However, what you saw was a show of pride an honor, as both teams laid everything on the line. Playing with grit, determination, and the type of nervous energy that can only happen in an important cup final.

If the players union can continue to make rational decisions as it did yesterday, then they will go a long ways to helping this sport, and to garner support from its fans. Maybe other unions in sports and society can look at this movement as something to idolize, and try to embrace. Although I may be coming off as a bit altruistic, the show of solidarity last night was a protest that worked, and should help them gather some momentum heading into the next collective bargaining agreement in two years.



Last night our New England Revolution became the first American team to hoist the Superliga trophy. In the liga's second edition, the final tried to match that of its previous year. Frenetic play, sublime goals and late drama contributed to a fantastic cup final, and a great ending to an exciting tournament.

Forget America's Super Classico, or LA/San Jose. Ignore those from New York who will tell you that they have a large rivalry with DC (you have to actually beat them every now and then NY). You can also look past our own rivalry with Chicago. Houston vs. New England is proving to be an feud expressed with class and intensity. For the third straight year these two teams have met in a cup final. Revs have finally taken one back and helped solidify a true rivalry as the two class organizations in MLS prove their quality on the pitch.

The football was admittedly, very ugly. The frenetic pace of the match provided a sort of nervous energy during the game. Though the quality of technicality was a bit lacking, the match itself was extremely intense. From minute one both teams came out with an intent to score quickly. Both teams came out to play like champions, and both teams left everything on the field.

The Revs were not to be denied in this final. After falling behind by a goal twice, they battled back and leveled the scoring each time. The second equalizer came in the final extra time period. Then the two teams met in penalties again. After Khano Smith's missed penalty to win it, it looked again as though the Revs were going to let this trophy slip through their fingers. However, Corey Ashe hit the cross bar in sudden death penalties, and the Revs were able to hold another cup above their heads, for the second year in a row.

With three more competitions to go in this calendar year, the mission is still not over. The Revs have achieved glory in one tournament, but could immortalize themselves in the months to follow.

Next up is Shitcago in league play. With a seemingly comfortable lead in the league table, and games in hand, this could help solidify us at the top of the table for at least a few weeks with a victory. However, let us celebrate another fantastic Cup win as the Revs have proved their class yet again.


Noonan to Columbus Deal Done?

According to goal.com's Kyle McCarthy:

The Pat Noonan transfer saga is apparently over. The former Revolution striker is expected to re-sign with the league and head to Columbus via trade, sources close to the deal tell Goal.com.


What do you think of the deal? We think it is ridiculous that a club still "owns" the rights to a player that it declined an option on 8 months ago. We think a lot of MLS player acquisition rules are flawed, but that is another article for another day. We want to know what you think.