By Kevin Koczwara
It didn’t take long for the New England Revolution to find a player to fill the vacant roster spot it had after waiving Michael Augustine yesterday. Today, the Revs (3-6-4, 13 pts.) announced the signing of 25-year-old winger Ryan Guy.
Augustine, 18, was released yesterday after failing to make a Major League Soccer appearance. He did make three reserve team appearances and two appearances in U.S. Open Cup qualifying matches for the Revolution. The winger, who the Revolution signed on March 4 from Nigerian team FCT Abuja, never saw league action and found himself down on the pecking order without much of a chance to make an impact. Now, he finds himself in search of another team.
Guy comes into the side after playing four seasons in Ireland with St. Patrick’s Athletic. The San Deigo native was drafted in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft by FC Dallas in the second round, 22nd overall, after playing four seasons of collegiate soccer at the University of San Diego, but decided to give Europe a chance and signed with the Saints.
Guy made 139 appearances and scored 25 goals for St. Patrick’s Athletic in Ireland’s top-flight. He was voted the St Patrick’s Athletic Supporters Club Player of the Year in 2009 and helped the team make it past two rounds of the UEFA Cup qualifying rounds.He decided to leave the club in January of 2011 stating personal reasons and a desire to return home to the States.
What Guy brings to the table
It’s no secret, but the Revolution have struggled to score goals the past two seasons. This year, the Revolution have a measly 10 goals — lowest in the MLS — in thirteen games. And things didn’t look to be getting any better with the team struggling with injuries to two of it’s most creative players, Marko Perovic, who’s out for the season after knee surgery, and Benny Feilhaber, missing time due to an ankle injury.
But Fielhaber and Perovic’s injuries aren’t the only reasons for the Revs struggles this year in the attack, although it is a major factor. One of New England’s biggest challenges has been in wide areas and getting solid crosses into the box. When the team has been able to play fluidly on the outside, the team has opened play and scored on a more consistent basis. With the release of Augustine and the signing of Guy, the Revs will hope they can fill that void more often.
Chris Tierney and Zak Boggs have each played well on their respective flanks. Both players have proved to be the best options the Revolution currently have out-wide, but neither has shown the ability to impose their will or create consistent chances from the run of play for a full 90 minutes week after week. The Revolution hope Guy can become the type of player manager Steve Nicol’s side needs to threaten opponents’ goal on a consistent basis.
Guy has had trials with both FC Dallas and the Portland Timbers since leaving Ireland, but neither signed him. The 25-year-old will have to wait until at least next week to get his opportunity to get into the side and try and make an impact.
If Guy fits into the Revolution’s plans he could prove to be a pivotal signing for the team midway through the season. It’s become more evident each week that the revolution are missing something in the wide areas of the field and that the team needs to start creating in the wide space for its attack for the team to turn the season around.
The New England Revolution (3-6-4, 13 pts.) will travel to face the New York Red Bulls live on national television on Friday, June 10. FOX Soccer will televise the game, and will also air live 30-minute pre- and post-game shows, starting at 8 p.m. in its three-hour broadcast block. On the radio, 98.5 The Sports Hub will carry the game live on its HD2 channel.
Kevin Koczwara can be reached at Kevin.Koczwara@thesoccerguysonline.com.