After the Revolution came up short in their bid to reach MLS Cup for the first time since 2014, head coach Bruce Arena hinted that there would be roster changes for the 2021 season.
And on Tuesday, the Revs got started on that roster construction, exercising options on five players and declining contract options on seven others.
The biggest no-brainer on the list was exercising the club's option on Carles Gil, who had a team-high five points (two goals, three assists) in New England's playoff run this season after scoring a team-high 10 goals in 2019. Though injuries limited the 28-year-old to just six regular-season games this past year, he's obviously a huge part of the Revs' future and one of the main factors behind their deep postseason run.
In addition to Gil, the Revs also exercised 2021 contract options on midfielders Luis Caicedo, Scott Caldwell, defender Collin Verfurth, and goalkeeper Brad Knighton.
However, the Revs didn't pick up contract options on the following players: Isaac Angking, Jeff Caldwell, Nicolas Firmino, Kekuta Manneh, Michael Mancienne, Cristian Penilla, and Seth Sinovic. Penilla has suffered a steady drop-off since being named Team MVP in 2018, when he scored a team-high 12 goals. After scoring six goals in 2019, the Ecuadorian midfielder didn't score a single goal in 17 appearances.
Five other players find themselves out of contract with the Revs heading into the offseason. Antonio Delamea, Diego Fagundez, Thomas McNamara, Kelyn Rowe, and Lee Nguyen.
For Fagundez -- the team's longest-tenured player -- this could mark the end of his time with the Revs. Signed at age 15, Fagundez made his Revs debut in 2011 and he's tied with Shalrie Joseph atop the club's all-time regular-season games played list with 261 appearances. The 25-year-old didn't appear in any of the Revs' final six games, including their four postseason contests.
New England already had 13 players with guaranteed contracts for next season -- Gustavo Bou, Tajon Buchanan, Adam Buksa, Teal Bunbury, Alexander Büttner, Brandon Bye, Andrew Farrell, DeJuan Jones, Henry Kessler, Matt Polster, Justin Rennicks, Damian Rivera, and Matt Turner -- so the team's roster stands at 18 entering the offseason.