The final weeks of this season were marked mostly by lose-lose situations for the Revolution, who went from title contender to first-round elimination in the playoffs. The positives, though, included the scoring of winger Tomas Chancalay, who on Tuesday was named to the roster on a permanent transfer on his loan deal from Racing Club in Argentina.
Chancalay, 24, signed a three-year deal (plus a club option year) and will receive Designated Player status. The transfer fee is listed at $3 million.
“He is an extremely talented attacking player who can play as a winger or as a forward,” Revolution interim sporting director Curt Onalfo said. “It was a nice situation to have him on loan to get a sample size, and we’re excited about having him going forward.
“Just look at his production over the time he was here. It is very difficult to come in and adapt quickly, and he was able to adapt really well and quickly because of his exceptional work rate both defensively and offensively.”
The Revolution roster is at the limit of three DPs, meaning Chancalay will likely replace Gustavo Bou, a fellow Argentine who is probably his closest acquaintance on the team.
Bou, 33, who is out of contract, could return at a salary reduced from the $2.6 million he earned this season. He also could go to another team but likely will not be able to match his current earnings.
Chancalay scored six goals in his first 10 games with the Revolution, joining the team after playing on loan for Al-Wasl SC in the United Arab Emirates. He tied with Giacomo Vrioni for fourth on the team in scoring, behind Carles Gil (11 goals), Bou (7), and Bobby Wood (7).
Chancalay displayed an ability to create offense, and ended up third on the team in shots attempted with 41 (3.7 per game, highest average on the team). Chancalay and Colombian Dylan Borrero (knee surgery) are expected to give the Revolution a combination of skill and speed at the outside midfield positions next season.
Onalfo is encouraging Chancalay to continue firing away.
“The closer he can get to goal the better,” Onalfo said. “It’s a matter of positioning and getting balls in behind. One thing he could do is, the more time he has to adapt, is put more shots on target.”
The Revolution have failed to optimize the DP designation, going to the maximum three in 2020 but using all three in the starting lineup only 32 times (20-5-7). The Bou-Gil-Vrioni DP combination started only five times together in the last two seasons.
“A lot of that had to do with injuries, and Gustavo missed a good part of the season with green card issues,” Onalfo said. “Gustavo has been a really valuable player for us since 2019; he’s been very productive when he’s been healthy and available to play. Obviously, without having a DP spot, it makes things more difficult to keep a player of his caliber around.”
The deadline for exercising contract options is Friday. Final personnel decisions will be determined after the Revolution fill the sporting director and head coach roles, vacated after Bruce Arena resigned in September. Onalfo, the Revolution’s technical director, could continue in the sporting director role.
“My focus is on doing two roles to the best of my ability and everything I can to help the team going forward,” Onalfo said. “Once a sporting director is named, the coaching search will start.”
Frank Dell'Apa can be reached at email@example.com.