At 12:08 AM on Wednesday morning, many fans in New England laid fast asleep. Many were unaware of the brewing deal concocted by Mike Burns and the Revolution’s front office. The Revs came out and stunned fans when they announced that Midfielder Lee Nguyen had been traded to LAFC for up to $950,000 in allocation money. While officially the deal went through at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, the deal wasn’t announced until Wednesday morning.
Lee Is Better Gone Than Here
Lee was very clear that he did not want to be here. It was also clear a lot of Revs fans didn’t want him here either. Head Coach Brad Freidel made it clear that he wasn’t going to be playing either after he left him out of the 18 for the first eight games of the season. Brad gave the excuse that Lee wasn’t good enough, which fans quickly pointed out was most likely a lie. If that wasn’t a giveaway that he wasn’t going to be playing here, find me a better example.
Along with the fact that Lee didn’t want to be here, it became apparent quickly that the Revs didn’t need him. Standing at fourth in the East, sixth in the MLS, you couldn’t ask for too much better of a start. With the addition of Cristian Penilla and the development of Diego into the 10, there wasn’t any need for Lee. Essentially, Lee has just been a $500,000 salary being wasted.
Why Is This Trade so Good for the Revs?
With Lee gone, the Revs have accomplished three things. They have freed up $500,000 in salary cap, and have gotten rid of any bad chemistry still in the locker room. Finally, and most importantly, The Revs now have $700,000 in allocation to spend this summer. To summarize, the Revs got rid of an asset they weren’t using and didn’t seem to be using anytime soon. In the process, they also cleared salary cap and got free money in return. Also, now that they have freed up cap space, they can really get out there and make a splash on a summer signing.
The icing on the cake is that the Revs managed to send Lee to a Western Conference team. Revs fans were not shy to express their disappointment if the front office did in fact trade Lee to Eastern Conference team where they would have to fight for a playoff spot.
The Revs Fallout?
The best part of this is the Revs will receive almost no fallout from this trade. The little backlash they could get is what separates this trade from perfection, and a great trade. While the cap space freed up is great, and the money received is great, there’s one little problem. The Revs play LAFC on the road later this year on September 15th. As we learned last year, every point counts in MLS. A game coming so late in the season could be a momentum changer.
There is hope though, as five out of the six games after playing LAFC are against Eastern Conference teams. That would give the Revs multiple chances to win six point games regardless of the result in LA. Then, there is the idea of “what if”. What if the Revs find themselves in the MLS Cup Final going head to head with LAFC. The idea is not out of this world as both teams are showing strong candidacies for playoff contention so far in 2018. Overall, this really is a GREAT trade for the Revs.
According to the Revolution, they will receive $700,000 in allocation money which could go up to $950,000 based on compensation yet to be determined. The Revolution also could receive LAFC’s natural 1st round pick in either the 2019 or 2020 MLS SuperDraft.