Shalrie Joseph, Kevin Alston, and Matt Reis (The Old Guard)
Joseph, Alston, and Reis are, literally, the veterans of the Revolution. They’re fan favorites, personalities that once made up a large chunk of New England’s early video channel (we miss you, Stevie), and were perhaps the most vocally frustrated players by the end of the 2011 season.
Statistically, Joseph is the team’s leader in shots on goal and goals in general (how Lekic is in 2nd, I’ll never know), Reis is the Revolution’s best keeper (not much competition from Shuttleworth), and Alston… well, he’s had the most difficult year of the three, though he led this season with most minutes played.
They’re core members who, though all made their fair share of errors during the season (some more painful then others), often garner the most respect in Revolution threads and forums.
(With friends like these… also, that’s Barnes who’s next to Alston)
Ilija Stolica, Ousmane Dabo, Didier Domi, and Marko Perovic
Damaged goods. That’s it. With the exception of Perovic, who I kind of think only further inflamed the “Support the Fort” movement after the infamous crackdown known as “Fortgate.”, all of these players were either injured or extremely injury prone by the end of the first fourth of the season and thus, let go, resulting in this next section.
A.J. Soares, Zak Boggs, Stephen McCarthy, Darrius Barnes, and Chris Tierney
The New Guard, essentially. If it weren’t for the contract decisions made in the last few weeks, I would have ventured to put Pat Phelan’s name in their too, but if the team’s getting an overhaul, I would guess another one of these guys may not be starting next year (though I have my doubts about this).
From what I’ve come to understand, because of the failure of New England’s Serbian and French imports, New England’s otherwise decent reserves (though I’m pretty sure Soares was going to be starting no matter what) found themselves as starters for a vast majority of the first half of the season and then some. And sure enough, they performed to the best of their abilities against teams with healthy, well-funded starters, starters who weren’t in their late 30’s and on the brink of retirement and looking for a last hurrah with an MLS team (… I loathe you Domi).
On another note, Tierney has been with the Revolution since 2008, he’s found himself a main component of the Revolution roster since 2010. That’s how I managed to lump him in there with the others.
Ryan Guy and Bobby Shuttleworth
Yeah, I’m not really sure either.
(Yeah, I totally didn’t put this together solely for a section about Bobby Shuttleworth)
The twin that doesn’t score hat tricks.
Abdoulie “Kenny” Mansally
Because if Nicol had his way, the Revolution would have drafted all of the Gambian national team.
Alright, that came off as more harsh than it should have been. Both Mansally and Nyassi are the only two members of the Revolution who are used wisely; as speedy late-game subs who are able to dash with the ball, get past defenders, and into the box. What they do after that, I’m not particularly sure and that only added even more frustration to the 2011 season.