FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The search for a potential Designated Player to lead the New England front line continues, but it is not close to completion, according to Revolution boss Steve Nicol.
“I'd love to tell you that we're almost done, but we're not,” Nicol told MLSsoccer.com after Wednesday's 0-0 draw with Toronto FC.
Despite the lack of tangible success to this point, the Revs continue to push onward in their attempts to locate a player who can strengthen their striking options and sign him when the European transfer window opens on July 1.
Nicol and vice president of player personnel Michael Burns traveled to an undisclosed European location in May to scout a potential target. That mission did not lead to an immediate signing, but Nicol said the Revs have held discussions with three players over the past couple of weeks as they continue their quest to acquire another forward option.
“Since the last time we spoke, we've spoken to three players who we thought we'd get something done with, but it hasn't materialized for all kinds of reasons,” Nicol said. “We're still looking. We're still trying as hard as we can to bring in an extra front player to help.”
Finding the final touch
A reinforcement or two to bolster the attacking choices might help the Revs find that elusive final touch in front of goal.
In the past two games, the Revs' offense — fueled by a switch to a 4-4-2 formation to add another body in the attacking third — has perked up considerably, but the results haven't entirely transferred to the scoreboard. New England launched 19 shots toward goal and served 11 corner kicks into the penalty area against Toronto FC, but failed to notch the all-important tally to collect all three points.
While statistics don't tell the entire story — there were a couple, not a litany, of gilt-edged chances generated on the night — of the Revs' efforts against TFC, they do serve to add to the frustration for a New England side that has scored a league-low 11 goals in its 15 matches.
“We just need to be encouraged that we've had plenty of the ball in the final third,” Nicol said. “We want to be positive. We were positive as much as we've been to get into the final third. We just didn't have the quality that was needed.”
Squandered points amplify frustration
The dearth of quality in front of goal undermined the Revs' efforts to kick off a crucial two-match home stand with a victory. Several players highlighted the need to emerge with six points from this week's slate against Toronto FC (0-0 on Wednesday) and Chicago (on Saturday).
With the Revs poised to play five of their next seven matches on the road, they cannot afford to drop any more points with the Fire set to visit this weekend.
“Toronto and Chicago are two teams that are within our reach to catch them and move up in the standings,” Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis said. “That's the biggest thing. The biggest disappointment is that the points have been out there for us to take, but we haven't taken advantage of it.”