Mar 26, 2014|
Revs GM Mike Burns joins the show to talk about his philosophy on building a successful team and as always we get his World Cup prediction.
Transcript - will not be 100% accurate
Welcome into another edition of WEEI soccer cast I'm your host Ben kitchen and today I've got a great guest with me. The general manager of the New England Revolution Mike Burns. As those of you -- don't know Mike was standout. Standout soccer player. At Marlborough school. Marlboro for some of you might not know is Framingham little brother I'm from Framingham -- so I just had to -- America. -- I was actually gonna make a comment but considering different. Let me -- Monaco this. I had to throw the jab and sincere neighbor but again my leg as a standout player for a long time with the with the -- and a bit US men's national team had a storied career and now we're very grateful for you to join us today so thank you for them. No problem -- I'm happy to be here. So there's been some news in the last couple of days. Something's written. And nine. Pulling disagreed with some of the things and I think what's very interest in with your team ring on the way you built your team and will get -- some questions and your philosophy and how you build teams. But. I see a team that's young and dynamic. An entertaining. And SI dot com's current wall has said those things and I do that's who I look up to in terms of a soccer journalism right now. How do you cut how what's your philosophy. For building a team. Amid I think -- -- look at the history of the -- pets premiers -- had a lot of success. Instill a culture on and help present when anomalous couple. Will come awfully close -- quote you can come about when again we also have -- is where. Work had weren't really struggled. So I guess bubbles are back as. You know Steven Nichols here for ten years -- had the privilege of working with him for four. For it so it if it's ten years here and and we had a great relationship and love working with him. And went his tenure. Sort of you know and -- -- when Clinton expected he'd been to date the most successful coach in history the -- in my opinion. You know we started to know -- -- start afresh which Jay heaps and so I guess so are kind of start my comments from there. That was the same year that prime well we can a president. The -- that -- general manager and that we we had a new head coach Jay -- very young and inexperienced. But very passionate. Had played for the club and and obviously very. If you don't want this club to succeed as much as anyone it's so. When -- and I sat down. And we looked at our current roster and in. The 2011. We knew we had to make a lot of changes going -- twelve and so. We almost at a blank slate if you well -- clean -- Q well and start scratch and we were. We were signing you know we -- just not a pleasant time players but we're looking for players -- the field from defense to midfield supports. I think we did that. From eleven to twelve. We we get a little bit better. On an eleven was it was terrible year for us we only have five wins. We -- that nine wins in 2012. And then we're refine the search group. We refine the -- even a little bit more from twelve to thirteen -- with -- we have that the team in Indian going in the right direction if you well so we made. Less transactions for twelve that -- are people would still make some we had we we targeted a few few other areas evident last year we went from. From twelve to thirteen or from nine went to fourteen wins. Last year we got ourselves back -- playoff spot. And that was the goal and that -- took over and in obviously like to do it with a one year turnaround. We were we did in two years and now even this year. We've even been a little bit more selective this past off season. Losing one whack adult was a big loss for us last year and that's the main reason wobble around and trade of intensity to acquire -- bond Barry. But we're still looking probably for not afford we'll look for another midfielder. Now and it's it's were refining it even more. Because although we have gotten off to not a great start. Which still feel like we have enough pieces. To build around knowledge that this year but for the future I think if you look at our current roster. And -- -- that we feel like we do we do well we know we have one of the youngest team in the wake but we feel like. With somebody young players we have whether Scott Caldwell idea of a good -- Andrew -- And in in the new draft picks and -- and demand and in a row and when it still fairly young. We feel like we have you know AJ in the back. We have a lot of young guys and now would like to do ideally is continue to add to the roster by -- brigade another veteran to. To help solidify -- positions on the field and and also gives a little bit more veterans. Leadership if you will on the field and in the locker room and and that's one thing that that we're trying to address. Now we did and I've talked to a couple of people -- -- for comparisons. Now when I see the way you built the team I see a lot of comparisons to the Red Sox in venture. Terms of very heavy on the well freed has the youth development for them a minor leagues really building it up through that way and then bringing in kind of established people to. Build on that youth search. Yeah I think that's fair I think that's a fair comment I think that's an accurate comment. And every night and that is. But the -- not a club. We're not a team. Like to Ronald frankly people are. Or Seattle or LA or New York that it that it -- get in and get three high priced high profile. Three designated players so. You know would we look at other ways to to make our team competitive and to make our team's successful. And and into areas that we take very seriously and and we put a lot of emphasis a lot of a lot of resources into our our youth development. Program and we have a fourteen or sixteen and are eighteen and and to date with that's our problem and -- -- -- -- -- that have looked come to our program. That that played significant minutes of the first team and have an impact on our first game and so. Will continue to develop and hopefully continue to develop players that come to our capital Kathmandu and make an impact on the first team. That's very very important to us and that that is how we -- certainly and the other the other. Area that I I don't I'm not so sure that that is -- that'll. That are other teams take it seriously as as we do it is the is the super draft and but if you look at the history of -- You know some of our top players have come through the draft very and in one year one draft -- -- -- -- -- -- would have Michael partners went down to Pat Noonan. Amman and -- so. You know we think there's a lot of values still on the analysts draft. In in in in and it. I think if you look at from the names I just mentioned have had had significant impact. -- -- on the ground but all Ramallah so that's two very it will continue to focus on. An and opposite of the trickier that that the trickiest part of all of it for not just out of but the or I think -- -- ultimately it is you know when you're -- eight international players in the international market is is tricky. That it is pretty complex -- And sometimes he you get it right -- many international signings and sometimes it don't. And in in opposite world will continue to to look at matters well but. That's so. Again in short you're year year to comment and your your statement on. On in kind of how would build the team is that's accurate not how we approached. Well thank you. You brought -- Toronto and you brought the fact that they did bring in some high priced around from you know Bradley and to follow does that -- deep do you feel pressure. In trying to somehow compete with that not necessarily spending big but making shrewd moves does that put pressure on you when a team that close is it and are excited. It's solution and we but it electric knowledge were not the war were not that club but but the -- -- on the you know. In addition to that. Most teams out like that right there so you have you know he had a few teams that are willing and that that there are able to disband. Significant amount of money and that commitment but it's not the norm right there's there's nineteen team in the league right now and in 234 from our our our kind of pushing the envelope in terms of development clarifying in the amount of money that their their allocated towards those products. But for for the most part generally speaking. That the majority of the other team and -- and not spending that sort of money for designated players so. We do feel like our margin for error has a lot smaller in terms of some of the other moves that we -- whether it's homegrown players on whether it's in draft. Whether it's trade wouldn't trade with in the way excel. You know what we do feel that we have to do it could be you know try to be as part of -- -- in in some of those moves that would make. Is there a player out there realistically not obviously Christian Ronaldo you know messy but his -- player out there you can imagine. Really targeting to be the designated player to help. Yeah I think the lesson that the truth of the matter is over the last over the last five to ten years and we have committed multiple weeks had we have had discussions with. With two player in particular. That very high profile you know household names. That we that we did have discussion list. You know there are feeling right now is that if we can get a a and views -- well I use an example this is not that that's not realistic at the moment that's not the name but a player like that right with that sort of cash and name on the field and -- field appeal. You know. That would certainly be something that would interest stuff now that we would -- I'm in terms of just a player for off the field to kind of name recognition which have supported us on the field. For competitive reasons would be difficult but -- high profile designated player that that kind of that helps us on the field and and move the needle a lot of different ways off the field. It's something that we would -- and we have to sit in the past. But there's just not a lot of plans frankly on the planet that fit that criteria. Means absolutely so I just to kind of go off the -- a little bit because retirement. Who do you think -- knows best player in the world. -- -- It's probably put the -- between Matt and Ronaldo. I guess that if someone said you can take one of them to come to the -- that take either but I probably take back. Okay. Just wanted to get that out there if -- have you wouldn't go. Absolutely not my my personal favorite is so mom -- -- I'd love everything he does front to back gets it gets the ball everywhere brings all the way up and brings it back it's. He's fantastic player and I think is wildly underrated. Yeah I think that Tom. One of the things. I've thought about in terms of because there's been some crying about. Now they don't bring in -- I personally addressed some of that and and just me looking at the way you've been building the team over the past couple years is. Building that core. Truly building that court and when the time is right -- the player is right that's when you strike but if you don't have to if you build a dynamic team -- you building right now. You don't need that to spend all that money on the doesn't there and potentially sacrifice. Core players down the road. And I actually a big fan of what you're doing right now and I think it's it's a fallacy for some people to set it to cry foul about it. Yeah but I understand why they would and I appreciate your your comment your point I think it's also a team sport and you know if you go on the road credibility team around one player. At least in my opinion that that you're due to potential beside yourself up -- failure on a larger scale if you will because. Who's to say that one player of the two games and do an ACL and then all of a sudden you. You've done everything you can to build the team around one data. And one player and so. -- eleven players out there and while there's a player and and once I can certainly make a significant impact in different that a team to to take that philosophy and built around. One to build your team around one player. I think this is very -- -- What what's your favorite part and I ask this because I. I used to play a lot of video games and what I would do is take over team and become the general manager myself and do the free agency -- the transfers in and to draft and everything Tom what what's your favorite part of that is it the navigating the transfer window doing the draft to what's your favorite part of the job. Minister were aware aware involved in the policy or involvement to land and so my favorite part of of what I do it. Saturday night and not third if we won the game makes -- week -- week a lot more enjoyable and and it we've lost or tied it. Makes -- week we go a lot less enjoyable so. That's still the fun part for -- it is what you're able to went it has been you know it has been detected a good feeling I think. It's certainly wasn't a good feeling a couple of years ago well where we -- rat but it certainly in the job comments we have had some success. Indeed your wedding. More than it was I think that's certainly more enjoyable as well but. -- to build the kind of revamp this -- over the last copiers and get ourselves back in opposition. That would put ourselves an opportunity to get back in the collapse that was that was gratifying from that to be honest. Considering where we had been just you know to wanna promote private. Now pregnant for over you earned 75 caps. You started two games in the 98 World Cup you're also participated in the 94 double what was your favorite memory favorite time. With the men's national team. With the men's national team I mean there -- couple. And and there are I guess just to the national team itself I mean looking back -- -- it was pretty incredible and I don't think any of us realize. The magnitude and significance of the time when you look back to be part of to be part of the World Cup to be part of the a World Cup team that is actually played it posted in your own country is pretty special. -- I don't like I said at the time we hear your involvement in your plan and you know the World -- in the US and you don't take a bad public at a ticket at that no way I think of it now. And how where it says that that. Players have that opportunity to play it to you know World Cup team and your own country so that was pretty special. Obviously qualifying conferences was what was good now and again the chance to step on the field. As well World Cup was was special but. You know we had a very close knit group of guys that that. That had been together for for quite a long time and and my -- six -- seven yeah. National -- locked -- to be together so you know those those are my close friends to back aside from the soccer part of that. -- added to form a relationship that -- and have their religion to have some of those guys still it is also pretty meaningful. Well final question. Now which on spot in the so I asked the -- and every interview. What's your prediction for the World Cup this. I mean this is an easy one and that's not really going on the lamb I just don't know how -- I don't know are you can bet against Brazil. Because there. They're not alone one of the top team in the world but the plant in their backyard so well let's be shocked if they don't want the World Cup no but. If I was a betting man which I'm not it would be hard to bet against them. -- put my money on your way. I knew I know the stories you can't take a European team on the south American can't you just can't do it. It never proven it so I went for a little bit of -- -- that current. Mike I appreciate it very much that you came on the show today and very glad we got to talk to you and do little insight from you and a I was she does the absolute best of luck this season thank you very much I appreciate it thank you have a wonderful thank thank you care to. Other have a that was Mike Burns the general manager of the New England Revolution. Glad he could join me today and to some of the questions out there there's been some some reports -- wall. Broad and SI dot com the ambition rankings and if you haven't seen it check it out and has the revolution. Towards the bottom of the list which had -- really scratching my head because. A couple weeks before that he had them as one of his favorites. To win -- LS cup. So I found that a little curious and you you'd guess we all know we want we want a stadium would want a new stadium but it's got to be done right and I think as businessmen they're doing the right thing right now and I'm clamoring for stadium two and I wanted to get done. Don't want to be done like that it's done wrong it release screws everything up and it really can hamper your team financially and for a long long time -- rose three guys over. But com. There there's on the report in the Boston or -- article written in Boston magazine. Just basically blasting the crafts and their ownership of the team which I thought. Really contradicted itself in a lot of ways because it did mention the fact that they have built this young dynamic team that I mentioned earlier on top of the interview. It mentions that yet it just -- -- to have -- a city and done and that's the be all and all of what is successful team is. Go watch game it's just fun it's more fun right now they're decent teams -- struggled at the beginning of the season but. Date they are good young group that is going to get it together and with a lot of good solid young players and a bright futures ahead of them. So now's the time to jump if you have an -- jumped on which I'm assuming you've heard jumped on -- if you listen to this you must already be a fan or -- members. Again I am Ben kitchen the hosts of the WBI's -- -- you can follow me on Twitter young men WEEI you can hear me every afternoon on the I guess Michael Holley show -- were calling it right now. Four at four got a couple sports questions in there for you guys and you can follow me on Twitter you can answer those questions yourselves. Again. I'm young men and this is the WB -- soccer tennis.