Shalrie Joseph signed a new contract with Major League Soccer, ensuring the New England Revolution captain returns to Gillette Stadium for a 10th season. The deal elevates the 33-year-old midfielder to "designated player" (DP) status, according to Revolutionsoccer.net.
"I'm very excited to stay in New England," Joseph said. "I've made this my home and I can't imagine playing for another team besides the Revolution. I'm looking forward to getting back out on the field next year and going after an MLS Cup championship for our fans and for this city."
The seven-time all-star's contract was set to expire on Dec. 31, but newly-minted head coach Jay Heaps was not about to let Joseph leave the club he's called home since 2003.
Joseph is arguably the best player in the 16-year history of the New England Revolution and is one of the top midfielders to grace MLS. Observers note his all-around skills and praise him for his durability and versatility.
"Shalrie has spent his entire MLS career here in New England and we are thrilled he's agreed to return as a Designated Player for us," Revs general Manager Mike Burns said. "Getting him re-signed was a top priority for us this off-season. We expect that Shalrie will continue to lead this team on the field, but also off the field and in the community, as well, as we move ahead into 2012."
According to the MLS Players' Union, Joseph made a team-high $500,000 in 2011 and his new deal will likely boost his salary by a small amount. By classifying him as a "designated player" the Revs will only face a $335,000 salary cap charge (against a salary budget believed to be around $2.675 million per team) for Joseph's services. It allows the club extra flexibility in re-building its roster after two consecutive losing seasons.
Last week, the club announced it re-signed longtime goalkeeper Matt Reis.
Photo via Flickr/nerevolution