So, The Boston Globe reports this morning that the New England Revolution declined to pick up the option on forward Pat Noonan’s contract, a move I have a couple reactions to. Chief among them, are you trying to push me away, Mr. Kraft? I know I’m headed toward the door, but this, getting rid of my favorite Rev…well, that’s just cold, even gratuitously so. Look at me when I’m talking to you, dammit!
But my reaction isn’t all that important to either the Krafts, or, obvioulsy, New England’s chances. You know whose reaction does count? Taylor Twellman’s. And, from what I hear, he’s a grumpy boy these days, what with Major League Soccer (MLS) and/or the Revolution front office standing in the way of a move abroad. And there are two troublesome factors at work in the Revs’ decision to let Noonan go. First, from what I gather, he and Twellman are close – possibly even very close. Between the contract issue and some other stuff I don’t believe in mentioning (oh, but I’ll allude to it, won’t I?), let’s just say Twellman is going through some shit and probably likes having a close friend around. Second, and this is more speculative, the Revs are giving Noonan his shot at going abroad – aka, pouring salt and rubbing alcohol into Twellman’s semi-forced confinement in Boston.
A final point of interest centers around Noonan going abroad. The Globe article seems fairly deliberate in how it characterizes his options: specifically, the phrase “making him a free agent who can negotiate with teams outside Major League Soccer” recurs through the piece. I was hoping the Revs’ official site would shed some light on this arrangement, but, at time of writing, it’s not so much as acknowledging Noonan’s situation. I suspect this has to do with MLS’s general rules about player movement, specifically the passage about “options not picked up”:
“A team retains the right of first refusal to the player indefinitely only if attempts were made to re-sign the player.”
Wow…and I’m talking about the word in bold. The Globe piece gets Revs’ director of soccer, Mike Burns, on record as saying the team hopes to keep Noonan, but they don’t seem all that eager do they? And, even if he’s rolling with it, Noonan himself seems a little blind-sided. The man has his injury problems, to be sure, so maybe that’s what the Revs are banking on to keep him in Boston. Those injuries might allow for a re-negotiation of Noonan’s contract, but I’d be a bit shocked if that was possible. At the same time, I’m also having a hell of time figuring the length of the terms, though a post on Blue Blooded Journo describes it as a “long-term deal.” Makes me think they’re stuck paying what they promised, but do miss these things sometimes.
Anyway, this isn’t my favorite move. Kind of makes me glad I’m not paying attention to these cats this year (oh, we’ll see Mr. Bull…we’ll see). Though what happens with Twellman in what could very well be the coming summer of his discontent does bear watching.