Sweeney: Revs need to be better in drafting, signing college players

Last Monday, the Revolution revealed which player options were exercised and whose options weren’t, setting up the roster for 2019. In somewhat of a surprise, rookie Mark Segbers — a first-round SuperDraft choice in January 2018 — did not have his option picked up. Fellow first-rounder Brandon Bye, picked eighth, one slot ahead of Segbers, had his option picked up. Fourth-round choice Nico Samayoa’s option was — not surprisingly — also declined.

Since 2012, only eight of the Revs’ 20 SuperDraft selections in that time have seen their options picked up; of those eight, four remain with the club headed into the current offseason.

Those four are as follows: Kelyn Rowe (3rd overall selection, 2012), Andrew Farrell (1st overall selection, 2013), Brian Wright (20th overall selection, 2017), and Bye (8th overall selection, 2018).

The other four players who have seen their options picked up for two or more years are as follows: Donnie Smith (21st overall selection, 2013), Steve Neumann (4th overall selection, 2014), Femi Hollinger-Janzen (51st overall selection, 2016), and Tyler Polak (22nd overall, 2012).

While Smith spent five years on the Revolution roster, he would make a grand total of six league appearances on the pitch for New England, while going on two separate loan spells with Rochester in 2014 and ’16, as well as a loan to Charlotte in 2017. Smith’s option for 2018 was declined, and he played with Charlotte in the USL this season.

Neumann was a part of the 2014 Eastern Conference champion club, and would spend two additional seasons in Foxborough, his playing time decreasing, before he was released following the 2016 season. He announced his retirement just before Christmas that year.

Hollinger-Janzen, too, spent three years in New England, and was a little-used player in 2018, his final season with the club. He wound up scoring twice in his three seasons.

Other draft choices have not been so lucky:

Polak was drafted 22nd overall in 2012, made two appearances for the Revs in 2012, and was sent out on loan to Rochester for 2013. His option was declined following 2013, and has played second-division football ever since.

Luke Spencer and Luis Soffner were second-round selections in the 2013/Farrell draft; Spencer, unfortunately, was injured only a few days into camp and was not offered a contract, and Soffner would go out on loan to Rochester in 2014. He made no appearances for New England.

In 2014, the Revs selected Patrick Mullins, who scored four goals in 21 appearances that season; he was left unprotected in the expansion draft that December and was selected by NYCFC. He has since scored 20 goals for three different clubs.

In addition, the Revs selected Alec Sundly and Pierre Omanga. Sundly spent ’14 on loan to Rochester and did not make an appearance with the club. He is now playing lower level football in Germany. Omanga was not signed.

In 2015, the club only had one selection: Marc Fenelus was a third-round choice, 47th overall. The Revs picks that year were traded for other players: the first-round choice went to Sporting Kansas City in exchange for Teal Bunbury, while a third-round choice went to Vancouver for Brad Knighton. Fenelus did not make the club.

In 2016, Jordan McCrary was the 10th overall selection; he went on loan to Rochester, but was released after the season and is now a starting right back with Seattle. Michael Gamble was the Revs’ second-round selection, and he was waived on June 13, 2016.

In 2017, second-round selection Napo Matsoso (31st overall) did not make the club. Fourth-round selection Joshua Smith made six appearances with New England, and was released after the season.

BSJ Analysis

So… what does it all mean?