The Revolution announced the signing of two Columbian players today, 27 year old defender John Lozano and 23 year old attacking midfielder/forward Fernando Cardenas. Both players come from America de Cali, which is historically one of Columbia's better clubs although they've hit a rough patch the last few years and were recently relegated to the second division. It's not yet known how much they'll be hitting the cap for and if the Revs own the contracts or if they are on loan.
Lets start with Lozano, the center back. He'll be fighting for a place with Barnes most likely as it appears that Soares should have his spot secure in the back. I really don't want to see Barnes at left back. He doesn't have the speed to play it. He's a center back. Please play him at his natural position where he's good. I would love to see Barnes and Soares get the chance to play together in the middle on a consistent basis. If Lozano outplays Barnes and earns a starting spot then we've got a very capable back up in Barnes in case one of the starters gets hurt. One thing that has me a little worried about Lozano is the fact he only played in 7 games during the last season, which is an 18 game season. He played in 7 straight weeks which means one of two things likely happened. He got hurt and lost his place or his play lead him to the bench. That's just speculation of course since I've never seen him play. So we're going to have to wait until the season gets underway to judge him. It also might take some time for him and Cardenas to adapt since MLS is a completely new league for them.
Now onto Cardenas who's profile at zerozero.pt does not list a team for him in the 2011 Apertura as it does for Lozano. Check it out here. According to the site the team he last played for was Tolima. Zerozero tends to be a very accurate site when it comes to rosters and player statistics, so the fact that he isn't listed on a roster for 2011 is a bit strange. Again, he's a player I don't know anything about so we're going to have to wait and see how he adapts to the league.
If these guys prove to be good players they could attract some people to the games. There is a good size Columbian population in the Southeastern part of the state. The impact won't be huge but when you're near the bottom in the league when it comes to attendance every bit helps.
So the final verdict here is that we're going to have to wait and see what these guys can do and what their cap hit will be and if the Revs own their contracts or not. I would've preferred we sign a left back instead of a center back, but there is still a lot of time before the season starts so signing a left back remains a possibility.