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Good news to report since we last talked. If you read my last article on SoB you know the Revs recently signed long term player Jay Heaps as they’re new skipper. One has to think this is an attempt to the right the Revs ship down at Gillette, because it’s been gross lately. Well, the hometown duo of Heaps and Mike Burns have been busy re-signing two key players in goalkeeper Matt Reis and attacking mid-fielder Shalrie Joseph. These two moves will be instrumental in their rebuilding effort.
Starting with a solid goalkeeping is a good decision no matter how you slice it. Reis, 36, is a four-time All-Star who holds the team goalkeeping records in games (215), wins (80), saves (868), and shutouts (55). He’s a wily veteran with a commitment to the team. Reis came to the Revs during the 2003 season in a trade with the Galaxy, which had drafted him out of UCLA in 1998. He battled through the effects of three surgeries in 2010 to make 27 starts this season and finish second in the league with 111 saves. The team sure showed faith in the keeper bringing him back after so many surgeries, which goes a long way with veterans, no? Think he’ll be motivated to prove them right?
Personally, I think the re-signing of Joseph is just as, if not more, important. Shalrie Joseph, 33, led the team in scoring with eight goals during an atrocious season of just five wins in 34 games last year. It’s also worth mentioning that he was the captain and the Revs are the only team he’s played for since they drafted him in 2003. He’s also had a hell of a career so far, having been named to the league’s Best XI four times.
Joseph’s new deal makes him big time. Sort of. His compensation will increase sufficiently to qualify him for Designated Player status. Which, if you don’t know, can be explained here.
As per team policy, specific terms of either deal weren’t released.
When you’re rebuilding a team, you need a few veterans at key positions. With Reis and Joseph, the Revs are right on. With Joseph, look no further than last summer. On July 17, an inept Philadelphia squad marched into Foxboro and easily dismantled the Revolution, who were without Joseph due to a one-game suspension. The Revs got spanked 3-0.
A few days later the Revs went on the road to D.C. With Joseph’s return, the team looked grittier, hungrier and generally not like a bunch of turds. They pulled of their only road win of the season, 1-0. Joseph is a solid off-the-field guy as well, often lending his services to local charitable efforts.
The re-signing of Reis, to me, is obvious. As I mentioned above, if your squad is weak at the goaltender position, you’re at a constant disadvantage, especially if you’re rebuilding with a ton of young talent. So now, the Revs are solid in the back and have a forceful midfield presence that can score. Not bad.
So I’ll say this: For now, well done new Revs leadership. But it’s just a start.