"I play for the Revolution."
Pride is a funny thing. Everyone is repeatedly told while growing up that you should have pride in your work, pride in your appearance, pride in your family and pride in who you are. Alternately, pride is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Too much pride, we are also told, is a bad thing.
Saer Sene is exemplifying a new type of selfish, arrogant pride in Foxborough, and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible. While there certainly is a frustration that has set in for most on the tall Frenchman, it needs to be noted that in addition to a goal scorer, which he is, we also have found a character. His antics are giving life to the Revs. Following yesterday's trade of Shalrie Joseph, the tall Mohawked Sene may just be the most recognizable Revolution player.
He is more known than Lee Nguyen and Clyde Simms (the most likely candidates for mid-season MVP). His flamboyant flair is becoming more known than US international Benny Feilhaber (at what point do we start saying "former US international"?). Even Matt Reis, the last player from the glory years, may be taking a backseat on Sene's ride. He is jumping on backs to celebrate with his teammates, he is running off the field to the Fort to revel in cheers following goals, he is kissing the badge post-scoring. His conceit is infectious, even if it leads to interesting run-ins with the law.
While people worry about the distraction of Sene's "interaction" with the Foxborough PD, it will probably end up as nothing more than a comical bleep for the player. Sure, in the four months since I first went on the record proclaiming that Saer Sene could be the best New England forward since Taylor Twellman, he has certainly cooled off. He has spent some time on the bench. The league found out that he is almost comically left footed. However, he has still scored an additional five goals. His strike rate back in May, when everyone loved him, was a goal for every 2.25 games. Nowadays, despite people feeling he has fallen off, his strike-rate is a goal for every 2.22 games.
You've got to love that.
Furthermore, we all knew the day would come when the league would become aware Sene, and they certainly have. People even began to mistakenly think he was designated player. When people think you're a DP and you're not, that is typically a good sign.
People will always complain about Sene being overly left-footed, and he is, but he is still getting that left-footed shot off. In Philadelphia, there were several occasions where he was able to get a shot on frame from distance. Perhaps when Jerry Bengtson returns from the Olympics, he'll be able to put back the rebounds from Sene's selfish, speculative outside shooting. And yes, there were several occasions where he should have laid the ball off, but selfishness is an attribute that is good for forwards to have.
I found it very humorous that according to the Foxborough Patch Sene "stated several times to officer Gallagher ‘I play for the Revolution.'" If he were a Celtic, Bruin, Red Sox or Patriots player, we would say this speaks to his arrogance. But since he is a Revolution player, we think it is a bit sad. It is almost humorous that the statement gets absolutely no special treatment for him. And maybe it does show he is a bit arrogant, but arrogance in a striker is good.
Perhaps with a poacher like Bengtson at his side, his selfish rockets from outside the 18, a pride for the navy blue and the arrogance of a much better player, people will start to know him.
"I play for the Revolution!"
Yes you do, Saer Sene, and I for one hope you do for a long, long time.