The New England Revolution bolstered its back line Friday morning by acquiring English defender Michael Mancienne on a free transfer.
Mancienne last played at Nottingham Forest, a team he helped captain, in the English Championship and has more than a decade of competitive experience playing in the United Kingdom and Germany. He has numerous international appearances within the English youth system, but never made an appearance with the senior team despite getting called to a friendly against Germany in 2008.
Revolution head coach Brad Friedel teased the transfer all week, noting the club would make additional moves during Major League Soccer’s secondary transfer window to strengthen the team. Mancienne’s acquisition comes 13 days after New England signed Bolivia defensive midfielder Cristhian Machado, also on a free transfer.
Mancienne, 30, will join the Revolution and occupy and international roster spot, pending the receipt of his P1 Visa and international transfer certificate. The Revolution used an undisclosed amount of Targeted Allocation Money to secure Mancienne’s services.
New England’s back line certainly needs the help. The Revs conceded at least two goals per game in four of their last five matches.
“I think, obviously, to be a leader at the back,” Mancienne said on Friday of what is expected of him. “I’m used to that. I’ve captained many sides in my career so I’m looking forward to the challenges, and I just can’t wait to get started.”
At minimum, Mancienne’s arrival should provide some defensive depth and competition. The former England national team prospect comes to Foxborough with a substantive résumé.
He graduated Chelsea’s youth system and went on to make four first-team appearances with the Blues. Mancienne went on loan to Queens Park Rangers from 2006 to 2008, then to Wolverhampton from 2008 to 2011.
Hamburger SV, a stomping ground of former Revolution midfielder Benny Feilhaber, acquired Mancienne on a four-year deal in July 2011. He made 49 competitive appearances there, not including two with the second team in 2013.
Mancienne returned to England in 2014 to sign for Nottingham Forest, where he made 122 appearances.
Despite reportedly having options to stay in England, Mancienne didn’t want to balk at the opportunity of trying his hand in MLS.
It was just an exciting opportunity,” said Mancienne. “It was something that I couldn’t turn down.”
“Michael [is] a defender who has played at the highest levels in both England and Germany throughout his career,” said Revolution General Manager Michael Burns. “We believe his experience will help him make immediate contributions to the club and allow him to become a leader on and off the field.”