During the 2011 season, it looked like the Shalrie Joseph era in New England was going to come to an end. He tweeted out that he wouldn't be back with the Revolution after the year and with his contract up, there was nothing tying him to the club. Then on Saturday, seemingly out of nowhere, Revolution president Brian Bilello announced that Joseph had just signed a brand new contract with the club.
Joseph had been earning a Designated Player level salary, but he did not count as a Designated Player because he was grandfathered into the rule after signing his contract prior to the introduction of the Designated Player rule. His new contract will keep him at a Designated Player level salary and now he was also count as a Designated Player. This gives the Revolution two such players as Joseph joins Milton Caraglio in the Designated Player category.
Is the new contract unexpected? Yes, but it is most certainly good news for the club and MLS. Joseph has been the face of the Revolution for nearly a decade now, making MLS Best XI four times and starring for three of the Revs' MLS Cup finalist teams. With public opinion of owner Robert Kraft low among Revolution fans because of their inability to get a new stadium built, poor treatment of the clubs' supporters, a lack of recent success and perceived unwillingness to spend on players, things could have gotten ugly if Joseph wasn't resigned.