It's never easy to waive a player. But waiving a guy who's been with the same club for more than half a decade? That brings some pain.
New England general manager Michael Burns was in exactly that position last week when he and the Revs bid adieu to Kenny Mansally. The Gambian concluded his Revolution career on Friday after spending parts of six seasons with the club.
The move came as a result of the attacker’s increasingly peripheral role within the first team, according to Burns.
“It was a really difficult decision for us considering his time – he was in his sixth season – with us,” Burns told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Monday. “As everyone knows, we made an awful lot of changes during the offseason. We brought Kenny back and we brought in a lot of new domestic players and a lot of new international players. As the season started and we looked at where we are right now, Kenny hadn't played a minute for us. In most games, he wasn't in the 18. We made the difficult decision to let him go for those reasons.”
Those pervasive changes created a style of play that limited Mansally's opportunity to carve out a role in the squad. An influx of forwards knocked him down the pecking order up front, while Revolution coach Jay Heaps' preference for narrower wide players in midfield limited his options in that part of the park.
The changing landscape meant that Mansally likely wouldn't add to his 89 appearances in league play and prompted the Revs to cut ties with the 23-year-old Gambian international.
“That's really why we reached the decision we did,” Burns said. “He hadn't really played thus far and we really didn't see that changing for the remainder of this year. We thought it was in our best interests and his to let him try to get on with another team and get an opportunity to play somewhere else.”