FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – It was a move that made sense on many levels.
The New England Revolution loaned Designated Player Jerry Bengtson to Argentina Primera División club Belgrano on Friday, a move that did not come as much of a surprise to observers, given the Honduran's struggles for consistent playing time.
Introduced in July 2012 as a DP, Bengtson came to New England with a hefty goalscoring resume both at the club and international levels. But in 36 league games over three seasons, he was unable to find that scoring touch, netting only four times. New England are hopeful that Bengtson’s move to Belgrano gives him ample playing time to rejuvenate that scoring touch.
“It made sense because Jerry hasn’t played as much as probably he or we would have liked since his arrival,” said New England general manager Michael Burns of the move. “We haven’t completely lost hope and lost faith … a change of scenery will hopefully revitalize him and his career a little bit to where he can get back on track.
"If he’s successful there, who knows? Maybe he’s back here scoring goals for us, hopefully, or maybe his career continues permanently in Argentina.”
The loan is for a full year, through June 30, 2015, and if Bengtson does return to the Revolution, Burns stated that he will have multiple years remaining on his contract. Of course, if he is successful for Belgrano, they may simply choose to hold on to the 27-year-old forward, who seemed to have trouble adjusting to life in the United States while speaking only Spanish and raising a young family.
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“There’s a chance that they could purchase him and keep him on a permanent basis,” said Burns. “It’s important for him to be playing and playing regularly, and that just wasn’t the case here. Hopefully he can go and get back on track.
"When he first came, I think his head was spinning a little bit … doesn’t speak the language, had his first child, goes to the Olympics, World Cup qualifying, new culture, new society, new teammates. It was a lot for him out of the gate.”
The loan was not done in conjunction with any corresponding moves that the Revolution are looking to make before the transfer window closes on Aug. 6. Burns, who continues to indicate a desire to add a player or two in the coming week, already had some irons in the fire that he said were not dependent on offloading Bengtson.
“We’d still like to add an attacking player here for the second half of the season,” said Burns. “We’ve had many discussions, we’ve made multiple offers. We just haven’t finalized a deal yet.”