Revs' preparation, persistence pays off in Bengtson transfer
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Pursuing a promising young goalscorer like Jerry Bengtson requires some patience.
The 25-year-old Honduran striker first popped onto New England's radar as a potential transfer target a couple of years ago. At that point, and several other points during that period, the prospect of a move didn't suit both parties.
Even with those circumstances in mind, the Revs maintained their interest in the prolific forward. They confirmed that intent by placing a discovery tag on him to make sure they held his MLS rights in case CD Motagua decided to entertain bids for him.
WATCH: Bengtson and Heaps discuss move
Now, New England’s preparation – and persistence – have finally yielded dividends. By the time June arrived, all involved parties started to work toward the deal that ultimately yielded Bengtson's transfer to MLS and the Revolution on Thursday.
“We've tracked him for the last couple of years, really,” Revolution general manager Michael Burns told MLSsoccer.com. “And the timing was right for both us and for him. We were fortunate that we were able to get a deal done in this window to bring him in for the rest of this year and beyond.”
Although the Revs' initial interest may have started long ago, this particular move came together fairly quickly. After MLS and the Revolution agreed to terms on a transfer fee with Motagua, Bengtson traveled to Massachusetts on Wednesday to meet with Burns and coach Jay Heaps. The talks produced a signed contract between Bengtson, MLS and the Revs to ensure the Honduran international striker would ply his trade at Gillette Stadium for the foreseeable future.
Heaps said the timing of the move – early in the summer transfer window and before Bengtson leaves to play in the Olympics later this month – should allow the Revs' new Designated Player to settle into the squad over the next couple of weeks.
“The fact that it happened so quickly and that he's here is great,” Heaps said. “We still have a couple pieces of paperwork we're waiting for, but, in terms of acclimating, you know how it is in this league. It is very difficult for international players to adapt and play their best. Anytime you can get training in and get a player working with the team, it's best.”
Bengtson will have to place the adjustment process on hold when he travels to London as one of three overage selections for the Honduran squad, but Burns said the temporary sacrifice on the club's part is worth it to finally secure the services of a long-time target.
“When you look at the big picture – to lose him for a little bit of time for the Olympics – we still thought it was absolutely worth doing,” Burns said.