With the news coming to light recently that Le Havre defender Samba Camara’s P-1 Visa has been denied, the Revolution suddenly have a slight depth issue at centerback. Camara had a brief stint in prison, but the hope of many fans was that the jail time wouldn’t affect his application. Unfortunately, the committee had taken qualms with his record, barring the Frenchman from joining his new club. So, what does this mean for the Revs now?
First and foremost with Samba no longer on his way to New England, the team has opened up both a senior roster spot and have the ability to fill another international spot pending the outcome of any of the current international players’ green card applications. With that, a portion of the TAM used to sign Camara in the first place will also return to the club.
Thankfully, with a little over a month to go before the season starts, and the transfer window still in full swing, the club certainly has time to hammer out a deal before the season starts, or begin the season with a centerback pairing that will most likely feature Andrew Farrell and Antonio Delamea once February 29th rolls around. While the Revs do have Michael Mancienne as an option off the bench, as well as former Michigan State defender Nick Woodruff on the roster, the need for a shutdown, attack-halting central defender is just as prevalent as ever.
While the team could look to build from within and promote a defender from the newly-formed Revs II, I believe it’d be highly unlikely for Bruce to look to integrate somebody so young into an already experienced group of professionals. If I’d have to guess, be on the lookout for a domestic signing or trade within MLS, as the use of both TAM and GAM could advance whatever deal that would be put in motion much sooner than that of an international player.
On the bright side of things, Antonio Delamea followed up a less-than-stellar 2018 campaign with a formidable 2019, looking more and more like the same player that won the team’s MVP award in 2017. Andrew Farrell has continued to thrive at centerback after a shift from right-back in 2016 and has head-manned a revolving door of defenders ever since the departure of Jose Goncalves following that same season.
Personally, the Samba signing really never jumped out at me as anything to be terribly giddy about, but the signing made perfect sense for the club. Even though it is a bit of a tragedy that Camara wouldn’t be joining the club, there truly wasn’t a better time for this to happen, with pre-season training just starting and Camara never even becoming integrated into any possible gameplans or tactics for the upcoming 2020 MLS season.
The next month before the team heads to the Olympic Stadium to take on the Montreal Impact in the season opener are huge in enforcing the same winning culture Bruce Arena had brought with him to the team when he joined in May of last year, re-righting the ship and securing a playoff spot for the Revs for the first time in 4 seasons. With new signings Adam Buksa and Alexander Büttner joining the likes of Gustavo Bou and Carles Gil, the Revolution look like a completely different team than they did at the beginning of last season, and are sure to make a serious impact this season.
(Photo: AP Photo/Steven Senne)