All three New England Revolution men re-signed Thursday are interesting in their own way: defender Kevin Alston, defender Darrius Barnes and goalkeeper Luis Soffner.
Alston (pictured) is certainly foremost, having recently been awarded Major League Soccer’s Comeback Player of the Year honor. That was for returning this year from his diagnosis and treatment of chronic myelogenous leukemia. The league’s 10th pick in 2009, Alston was a career-long starter (at either right or left back) around Gillette, but did obviously lose that position with the CML setback.
Now, with a fresh start and a fresh contract, Alston seems all set to challenge for his place anew.
Barnes also came from that 2009 draft, and he’s been a valuable utility man along the Revs back line ever since. There doesn’t seem to be room for Barnes as a starter, but manager Jay Heaps clearly values the veteran man’s ability to fill in at several spots.
Soffner will have a chance to challenge for a position, but probably finds himself third man once again despite Matt Reis’ retirement. Bobby Shuttleworth and Brad Knighton have far more experience, but if Sofffner can up his game, management might adjudge him a better choice (and less expensive one) as the primary backup.