The New England Revolution are hoping to get a little bit more out of their partnership with Portuguese club Sporting CP, with Revs general manager Mike Burns recently telling media that he’s hoping to add one or two players from the Lisbon club for the 2016 season.
New England and Sporting have had a partnership since October 2014. Revs players Zachary Herivaux, Donnie Smith and Sean Okoli were recently sent to Sporting for a three-week training stint, with Burns and head coach Jay Heaps taking a brief trip to the club to observe matches and training sessions for the club’s senior squad and reserve team.
"We’ve got to take the next step in terms of identifying players that we like and that they might be willing to move, either on a short term or permanent basis," Burns told New England-based Portuguese-English newspaper O Jornal late last week. "So, we’re in discussion with Sporting about those possibilities right now and we’re hopeful that we’ll be able to get a player or two wearing a Revs uniform next year or beyond that’s coming from Sporting. I think that’ll be great for the partnership."
Burns also spoke last week with Comcast Sportsnet New England about out-of-contract midfielder Jermaine Jones, who has publicly stated that he’s received offers from clubs in Brazil and Europe and that he’s seeking a longer deal than the year-and-a-half contract he just completed with the Revs. Burns said he’d like to have the US international back in New England next year.
Should Jones return to New England or be traded to another MLS team, he would be suspended for the first six games of 2016 for his conduct toward a match official in New England’s Knockout Round loss at D.C. United in the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs.
“Jermaine Jones is well aware that certainly he can wear a Revs jersey next year if he wants to,” Burns told CSN-NE’s Dalen Cuff. “We’d like to have him back, we’ve made that known to him, we’ve made that known to his representative, but beyond that it’s ultimately going to be a decision of Jermaine’s.
“He has said publicly that he is going to have options outside of MLS and around the world, and he’s said that he wants to make a decision that’s best for him and his family. We would like to have him back in a Revs jersey, but it’s just too early to tell on where he’s going to ultimately end up making his decision.”