Somi hasn’t played a competitive match for the Revolution since last July and has only made the match 18 twice since then, meaning his hefty salary – which the MLS Players Union pegs at $425,000 per season – is largely going to waste.
That said, the Revolution declined an opportunity this winter to offload Somi, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. New England declined $150,000 in allocation money from FC Cincinnati for Somi’s services this past offseason, the source told Pro Soccer USA.
Representatives from FC Cincinnati did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Revolution communications director Kaitlin Gangl Alden said the details of this article “are wildly inaccurate.” When pressed about which details are inaccurate, Alden declined to comment, citing club policy.
New England signed Somi, 27, last January after scouting him from Sweden’s Ostersunds FK. He was widely believed to be the Revolution’s successor for longtime left back Chris Tierney and subsequently started the club’s first nine games of the season.
But Somi fell out of favor fast: He hasn’t played a competitive game for the Revolution since a 2-1 loss to Minnesota United July 19, 2018. He has also been in an 18-man matchday roster only twice since then — once last August and again April 4 for the Revolution’s 1-0 loss at Columbus Crew SC.
Somi’s absence is questionable given the amount of money the Revolution invested in him, especially since the club is currently shorthanded on defense.
Edgar Castillo is the team’s only other left back. However, Revolution head coach Brad Friedel uses second-year defender Brandon Bye, a midfielder and right back, as cover on the left when Castillo can’t play.
FC Cincinnati’s offer for Somi is similar to the one the Portland Timbers made to New England during the winter to acquire Claude Dielna. Dielna, like Somi, had been on the fringes with the Revolution for the second half of the 2018 season.
While the Revolution chose not to sell Somi to Cincinnati, they have considered sending him on loan to Birmingham Legion FC of the second-tier USL Championship, the source said.
For now, Somi’s situation continues to mystify media and supporters – as well as some players, and Somi himself.
This story was updated to include the New England Revolution’s response after it was published.