The New England Revolution announced a shocking blockbuster trade today, shipping team captain Shalrie Joseph to Chivas USA in exchange for Blair Gavin, the Goats' natural second-round selection in the 2013 SuperDraft, and allocation money. Joseph was one of two Revolution designated players.
"Trading Shalrie was a not a decision we made easily," General Manager Michael Burns said. "Shalrie has been one of the faces of the club for a decade, but we had to take a hard look at our roster and decide where we needed to be as we look toward the future. Shalrie has accomplished so much as a member of the Revs, and we wish him nothing but best wishes as he moves on to the next stage in his career with Chivas USA.
"With this trade, we gain a significant amount of roster flexibility and add a player in Blair Gavin who has great potential, an additional draft pick next year, plus allocation money - all of which provides us options to improve the team," Burns continued.
Shalrie departs after almost 10 years with the Foxboro club. He was drafted by New England in the 2002 SuperDraft out of St. John's University before signing on with the Revs ahead of the 2003 season. He went on to play ten seasons in Foxboro, and was named club captain in 2009.
During his tenure in New England, Joseph became the club's all-time leader in appearances (261), starts (254), minutes played (22,867), penalty kick goals (12), and fouls suffered (421). He ranks second in shots (321), shots on goal (130), and game-winning assists (13), third in overall assists (34), and fourth in goals (37).
Joseph was also named to the MLS All-star team eight times, and was a four-time MLS Best XI selection, earning the nod in 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2009. He was a finalist in MLS MVP voting in 2009, and helped the club make a record six straight appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals. He was an integral part of the MLS Cup Runner-up teams of 2005, 2006, and 2007.
"This was a very difficult decision for us to make," said head coach Jay Heaps, who played with Joseph in New England from 2003-2009. "For as long as I can remember, Shalrie has been the Revolution's anchor and one of the team's leaders. Through the years, he helped set the tone every day, gave everything he had for the Revs and was consummate teammate. As his coach - and his friend - we'll miss Shalrie on the field and in the locker room every day, but we have to look ahead and make decisions with the best interest of the club in mind. We wish Shalrie all the best as he moves on."
Blair Gavin, the Revs' player acquisition in the trade, is a third-year defensive midfielder out of collegiate soccer powerhouse Akron. He was drafted 10th overall by Chivas USA in the 2010 SuperDraft, and has made 43 career appearances, 31 of them starts, tallying three goals and five assists. Gavin, a former member of the USA U-18 and U-20 player pools and a 2009 NCAA Championship runner-up, will likely help the Revs maintain depth in defensive midfield, where Joseph and Clyde Simms were the only real ball-winners on the roster.
For more Revolution coverage and fan discussion/reactions to the trade, visit our team page and blog, The Bent Musket.