The Revs have a funny way of managing their roster.
It's not uncommon to see an open roster spot linger for days, sometimes weeks, while the club searches for a replacement. After they cut ties with Mauricio Castro, it appeared that Ivan Gvozdenovic or Jean-Baptiste Fritzson would fill the vacancy. When both walked out of town without contracts last month, the Revs remained curiously undermanned.
Today, the answer arrived. By now, you've probably read the report* from Kyle McCarthy (who, by the way, is one of the best in the business) that Steve Ralston will be rejoining the Revolution after leaving the financially-plagued A.C. St. Louis.
(*And now confirmed by the club on its site.)
Typically, I'm not one to speculate or create rumors, but after Ivan Gvoz...um, the Trialist and Jean-Baptiste Fritzon failed to find a place with the Revs last month, I suspected that the spot was being held. For who? Not another international. And definitely not a DP. This is the Revolution we're talking about, after all.
No, I had a funny feeling that it may have been held for a familiar face. Down in St. Louis, Rally had just returned to the pitch last month after suffering a torn ACL last September. That, paired with the dire financial situation surrounding A.C. St. Louis, seemed to hint that we hadn't seen the last of Rally in a Revolution uniform.
His return could not come at a better time. The reeling Revs currently sport an embarrassing 3-7-2 record going into the break. The fact that they managed three victories with such a disjointed midfield is primarily attributable to sheer luck and bad teams.*
(*Luck: failing to find the game-winner until the Red Bulls lost not one man, but TWO men, to bookings. Bad teams: D.C. United and the early-season version of Toronto FC, who probably couldn't have defended against a sack of pinnies at the time.)
There is little doubt in my little mind that the state of the midfield will change dramatically now that Rally is on, and Joseph Niouky (who, in hindsight, may have been unfairly judged against Rally this season) is presumably off. The cohesion that we've come accustomed to seeing over the years will likely reappear now that number 14* is back in the middle of things.
(*Sainey Nyassi graciously return the number back to Ralston. Nyassi will now sport the number 17, which formerly belonged to the unforgettable Gary Flood.)
Oh, those sneaky Revs.