Cisse adds experience, tenacity to Revs' midfield
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Two of the New England Revolution's primary goals this offseason are to add veteran experience to a young core and introduce a bit of steel into a skillful midfield. The club took a significant step in accomplishing both of those objectives with Monday afternoon's acquisition of midfielder Kalifa Cisse.
Cisse has eight years of European experience, including successful stints with Reading FC in the Barclays Premier League and Bristol City in the English Championship. Although he has the ability to play in central defense "" another area the Revs have targeted for improvement this offseason "" the physically imposing Cisse is expected to occupy a central midfield role in New England.
"Ultimately, the decision will be up to the coaches in terms of where he plays, but (during) the time he spent here for [a weeklong training stint] he played in central midfield, so we're looking at that now," said General Manager Michael Burns. "The search continues to bring in additional players and we're going to focus on the defense this offseason, as well, in terms of trying to add some players on the backline.
"We know [Cisse] can play in the midfield and depending on what other acquisitions are made this offseason, he's also a player we think can play in the back. But that will remain to be seen once we get in preseason and see what our full roster looks like."
When Cisse does arrive for preseason training, he'll already be familiar with his surroundings. The French-born Mali international spent one week training with the Revolution in early October and the experience proved beneficial for both player and club.
"It's not always easy "" and sometimes it's impossible "" to get players to come over here and train for a couple days," said Burns. "But when we're able to set it up and the player is accommodating and willing to come over, we feel like it helps us on a lot of fronts.
"We get to see the player play "" which is the most important thing "" but also play with our players. And it's not just playing with our players in training sessions, but you also get to see his interaction with our players, you get to see his interaction with our coaching staff and he actually gets to see the facilities."
At the end of the training stint both sides were confident the pairing was a match "" Cisse noted it was "an easy decision" to join the Revs in a statement released by the team "" prompting the deal which adds the 28-year-old to New England's impressive stable of midfielders.
"The expectations are going to certainly be high for him to come in here," said Burns. "But we think he has the ability, for sure, to help us on and off the field as we continue to evolve and hopefully continue improving next year."
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Major League Soccer Stories from November 19, 2012
- David Beckham to Play His Final Game for LA Galaxy in MLS Cup 2012 - Los Angeles Galaxy
- Timbers Development Update - Portland Timbers
- Cisse adds experience, tenacity to Revs' midfield - New England Revolution
- Real Salt Lake Selects MF Cole Grossman in MLS Waiver Draft - Real Salt Lake
- Chicago Fire Defender Jalil Anibaba Training With Atlético Madrid - Chicago Fire
- Crew Enjoys Record Year on Business Front - Columbus Crew SC
- Real Salt Lake Waives MF Nico Muñiz - Real Salt Lake
- MLS Cup 2012 Trophy Tour to Visit Houston and Los Angeles in Celebration of Championship Game - MLS
- Weekly Update: Training Ends - New England Revolution
- Timbers Waive Three Players - Portland Timbers
- Five FC Dallas Players Eligible for this Afternoon's MLS Waiver Draft - FC Dallas
- Revs Waive Four Players - New England Revolution
- Sporting Kansas City Waives Four Players - Sporting Kansas City
- Revs Win MLS' 2012 Xbox Fair Play Award - New England Revolution
- Revs Sign French/Malian Midfielder Kalifa Cisse - New England Revolution
- Columbus Crew Parts Ways with Three Players - Columbus Crew SC
- Red Bulls Announce Roster Moves - New York Red Bulls
- Austin Berry and Logan Pause Honored with MLS Year End Awards - Chicago Fire
- MLS Announces 2012 Rookie of the Year, Xbox Individual and Team Fair Play Awards - MLS
- Special Presale for MLS Cup 2012 Tickets Begins Today - MLS
- Galaxy Advance to Second Straight MLS Cup - Los Angeles Galaxy
- Penalty Kick Snuffs Sounders FC Rally - Seattle Sounders FC
- Galaxy Knock out Sounders FC to Advance to MLS Cup - Los Angeles Galaxy
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