On Thursday, the Revolution announced full bowl at seating Gillette Stadium in 2011. On Friday, they followed up with the signing of two largely anonymous internationals.*
(*This post isn't intended to come across as negative or jaded, you know, aside from the title of this post. I apologize if it does.)
To address the quality in the attacking third, the Revs didn't bring in Ronaldinho. No, they didn't bring in Luis Figo, either. Alex de Souza? Not this time. Boys and girls, the Revolution present to you, for your spectating pleasure, forward Ilija Stolica and midfielder Roberto Linck.*
(*Cue the crickets.)
As you've probably learned by now, the idea of signing to general unknowns to address an obvious deficiency has become standard policy of the Revolution front office. It's a non-gamble, really. Sign a guy (or guys) no one knows for small money, and if he fails, well, the expectations weren't exactly in the stratosphere to begin with.
Lowered expectations aside, I attempted to find out more about Stolica and Linck, so I asked a few colleagues of mine about Stolica. I didn't get very many answers. So, that left me with no choice but to do some google scouting on the Serbian international.
According to his website, Stolica is a bonafide center forward who scored at a decent clip this season (seven goals in 12 matches) with FC Budocnost. It's good to know he can score. But, then again, we thought Edgaras Jankauskus could do the same when he was signed last summer, and all he's done thus far is collect alot of injuries. That, and undertaking alot of stretching exercises in between stoppages in play.
After playing college ball at Irvine Valley College, Linck moved on to indoor soccer (!) with the Chicago Storm in the XSL, where he wowed the crowds in the Windy City with three goals in five games last season.* He then parlayed that experience to a contract with CSM Râmnicu Vâlcea. In six outdoor matches, he scored one goal. But wait. He is Brazilian.
(*Three goals in five games ain't bad...in the outdoor game. But three goals in five indoor games? What, Kyle Teixiera or any of his former Massachusetts Twisters teammates weren't available?)
Midseason acquisitions are supposed to provide answers. But seriously, did these signings actually leave us with more question marks? Why are the Revs signing anyone older than 30? Why are they signing forwards when there's a clear need for midfield depth? Should the signing of an indoor player really excite us? Do these signings effectively phase out Zack Schilawski, who happens to be their leading scorer at the moment?
Given the Revolution's recent success rate with midseason signings*, is it worth holding our breaths that, yes, these guys are the missing link (pun definitely intended) the Revs need to crash the playoffs again? Are these the guys - guys seemingly unwanted by their former, semi-anonymous clubs - that will make the difference down the stretch?
(*Since 2006, the Revs have brought in the likes of Jose Manuel Abundis, Gabriel Badilla, and the aforementioned Jankauskas. Talk about a set of season-changing moves.)
Time will tell. In the interim, it appears that the Revolution have once again refused to sign a legit international star, and once again elected to go down the well-beaten path of the low-profile signing. Which begs the question: why did they open up the seating at Gillette again?