Thursday, July 11, 2013
Burns doesn't feel pressure to make move
By Brian O'Connell, Special to ESPNBoston.com
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Revolution general manager Michael Burns never has been the type to make a move just for the sake of it, and that mindset isn’t about to change now that the summer transfer window is open.
With the Revolution a game above the .500 mark at the midway point of the season for the first time in five years, Burns doesn’t feel any pressure to get a player’s signature on the dotted line posthaste.
But that isn’t to say that he is fully satisfied with the Revolution roster as it’s currently comprised. By no means.
“We’re certainly looking to add players,” Burns said. “If there’s a player (available) that we think is going to help us during the second half of the year, then we will absolutely do it.”
Although the window opened on Tuesday, the club tried out players last week, hoping to get a better look at who might be able to help them reach the playoffs for the first time since 2009. Burns advised that more players will be training with the club in the coming days and weeks, all with the hopes of finding the “right guy or two” prior to the close of the window on Aug. 8.
Burns wouldn’t say who or which positions the club is targeting, but did hint that nothing “is imminent in the next few days, in terms of announcements.” And perhaps that is with good reason.
Unlike last year, when the Revolution made an early splash during the summer window by signing Jerry Bengtson to a designated player contract only five days after it opened, the club isn’t in dire need of resources anywhere on the pitch. Thus, the club isn’t as desperate to make a signing as it has been during recent summers.
One area that doesn’t appear to be of particular concern is up top, as Burns acknowledged that the recent knee injury to Juan Agudelo hasn’t altered his approach during the window.
“With the number of forwards we have now, we’re hopeful that Juan’s not going to be out and miss that much time,” Burns said. “We feel like we have a capable core group of forwards that are going to compete for minutes and hopefully score some goals during the second half of the year and get us some wins.”
Burns knows that, despite the Revolution’s 6-5-6 record, the clouds can darken quickly, as they did last year, when the club went winless in its first 10 games of the second half of the season.
Even so, Burns isn’t expecting a repeat performance of last year’s second-half woes.
“There’s certainly a belief this year that we are capable and good enough to get into the playoffs,” Burns said. “So it’s up to us whether or not that happens.”
Indeed, the Revolution’s destiny is in their own hands. While the players and coaching staff will focus their efforts on the pitch, the burden of bolstering the roster and improving the team’s chances of playing late-autumn soccer falls on Burns.
Knowing full well that trying to fit the proverbial square peg into a round hole could deep-six his club’s success during the second half, Burns isn’t about to make a rash decision or sign a player simply to grab a headline or two.
“The ultimate goal is to try to make the team better,” Burns said. “So if we don’t feel that signing a player will make us better, then we probably won’t do it.”