For many New England Revolution fans, this has been a long off season. After the disappointing finish last season, where they failed to qualify for the playoffs, there were questions about certain players futures and issues with depth. There was no doubt that new faces were needed to be signed.
But as expected, there was to little news of any coming out of Foxboro. While most of their rivals were making signings, trades, the Revs were doing nothing. There was word of off season scouting trips overseas, but nothing. Fans were getting impatient, one look on twitter and there was constant tweets of disappointment by the fans.
And while the Revs were not doing anything, some key players left the club. Team captain Jose Goncalves didn’t sign a new deal and has stated his desire to move back to Switzerland to continue his career. At this time he hasn’t signed any deal. After spending four seasons in New England, the loss of JoGo really felt like a big step back for the team, considering it was the defense that was lacking depth.
Another key loss was midfielder Gershon Koffie. Although he was only traded for after Xavier Kouassi, last seasons big offseason signing, suffered a season ending injury, as an alternate, he was still a good player. He ended signing for Swedish club Hammarby Fotboll.
But finally in mid January came the MLS draft, and the chances of some moves. Despite some rumors of trades involving the Rev, they ended using their picks. They drafted Brian Wright from the University of Vermont, scoring 39 goals in 80 games. With their 2nd round pick drafted Napo Matsoso, a midfielder from the University of Kentucky, and Joshua Smith with their 4th round pick.
After the draft, the anticipation of who the Revs signed, following a hint on Twitter from team president Brian Bilello, was growing.
Added a new international CB using TAM. Will be able to announce and have him here this week.
— Brian Bilello (@RevsPrez) January 23, 2017
Ultimately the Revs announced the signings of Slovenian defender Antonia Delamea Mlinar, and Ivory Coast defender Benjamin Angoua. Antonia had played his career in Slovenia, and recently made his national team debut, helping his previous club Olimpija Ljubljana win the Slovenian league title during the 2015/2016 season. Benjamin Angoua has spent the last 6 1/2 years in France, and 4 years previously in Hungary. He was also called up for the 2008, 2012 African cup nations squad, 2010 world cup, and 2008 Olympics squad, winning 17 caps.
Without a doubt these are two good signings for the Revs, especially on defense. And as the pre-season continues on, there is always a chance of new signings to be completed with players invited to trial with the Revs.
— NewEnglandRevolution (@NERevolution) January 25, 2017