Veteran goalkeeper Matt Reis missed six months due to shoulder and knee surgeries.
Keith Nordstrom/Getty

NE strengthen defense by signing Reis, Cochrane

New England bolstered its defensive efforts by making a pair of signings on Wednesday.

Out-of-contract goalkeeper Matt Reis agreed to a new deal to ensure a ninth season with the Revs in 2011, while Ryan Cochrane reached an agreement to complete his move from Houston after New England selected him in the second stage of the Re-Entry Process last Wednesday.

By signing Reis to a new contract, the Revs eliminated any uncertainty about their goalkeeping situation and secured the 35-year-old for at least one more season.

Although Reis holds every important Revolution goalkeeping record and remains one of the few links to the Revs' string of Eastern Conference titles earlier in the decade, he played in just 14 games during an injury-riddled 2010 campaign. The veteran number one missed the first half of the campaign while recovering from left knee and left shoulder surgeries and watched his season end abruptly in October after undergoing an operation on his right ankle.

The new deal will permit Reis to prepare for the new season without distractions as he and the Revs plot to rediscover their best form in 2011.

“It's a contract that the Revs and the league feel that is a good contract,” Reis told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Thursday. “Hopefully, I can keep going to get back to the stadium, get healthy and get back to the way I was playing before my surgeries and before last year.”

[inline_node:325019]Cochrane, 27, joins the Revs in search of a fresh start after featuring just 12 times for the Dynamo in 2010. The two-time MLS Cup winner (2006 and 2007) said he believes the move to New England represents a fresh start after battling ankle injuries in San Jose and spending the majority of his time on the substitutes' bench in Houston over the past two-and-a-half seasons.

“I'm really excited about it. It was one of the places I was really hoping [to land] when I went into the Re-Entry Process,” Cochrane said in a phone interview on Thursday. “I know there's a good tradition there and I've heard great things about Stevie Nicol. After playing them in the finals, I have a lot of respect for the organization, the staff and the players there.”

Cochrane's arrival bolsters a central defensive group thinned by Cory Gibbs' departure to Chicago last week. The former US U-20 international should compete for playing time with Darrius Barnes and Emmanuel Osei and provide additional leadership in the Revolution locker room.

“I'm glad we were able to come to an agreement with Ryan,” Revolution vice president of player personnel Michael Burns said. “We feel that his experience and his status as a veteran player will help us both in the locker room and on the field. He brings a certain amount of leadership to our team.

“We're hopeful he'll help us on the field, whether that's in a starting role, a backup role or a combination of the two,” said Burns, “and we feel like he is another option that is different than what we currently have.”

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