New England coach Jay Heaps and general manager Michael Burns said they wanted to acquire some productive, proven and reliable figures during this hectic offseason for the Revolution.
By securing the rights to Nate Jaqua, Danleigh Borman and Clyde Simms through the Re-Entry Draft, Burns said the Revs believe they have accomplished at least a part of that significant task.
“First and foremost, the way Jay and I looked at it, we wanted to select players – whether in the first or the second Re-Entry Draft – that could help us on the field,” Burns told MLSsoccer.com on Monday night. “We've been fortunate enough to draft three guys who have a fair amount of MLS experience.”
Jaqua and Simms represent the latest arrivals to a squad in the midst of a significant retooling phase. The Stage 2 picks follow Borman as probable additions to a group that Burns and Heaps still plan to strengthen during the remainder of the offseason.
With all of the recent changes in the locker room and the on-field difficulties last season still fresh in the memories of the holdovers, Jaqua and Simms could provide some much-needed perspective for this revised side.
“They've played a lot of games,” Burns said. “They have a lot of experience, which we feel is important. Those two have been around a long time and they've been good pros. We want to bring that into the locker room. We feel like we've addressed [a few needs] on the field and off the field with these guys.”
Plenty of work still remains to build the squad for next season. Borman, Jaqua and Simms represent three potential contributors in 2012, but they still must agree to terms with MLS and the Revs before linking up with their new teammates.
Burns and Heaps will now work to surround those three potential imports – and key returning figures such as Benny Feilhaber, Shalrie Joseph and Matt Reis – with influential foreign signings from the transfer market and promising collegiate products through January’s SuperDraft.
“Last year and this year, we've shown we take the Re-Entry Draft seriously,” Burns said. “Now we have to get prepared for the Combine and the SuperDraft, and we'll hopefully add some domestic players through the SuperDraft.
“We've also been scouting, and we need to add some international player signings as well," added Burns. "There's a lot going on right now, but it's necessary to try to get everything back to where we hope and want to be.”