On Saturday, Jose Goncalves was named to the starting lineup for the first time since Apr. 11. During this stretch, the center back has dealt with a lingering calf injury, an ailment that reduced him to a single 16-minute substitute appearance against the New York Red Bulls.
While Goncalves regained his spot alongside Andrew Farrell, he didn’t regain the captain’s armband as Jermaine Jones maintained the honor. While the decision raised the eyebrows of many fans, it wasn’t quite as provocative to coach Jay Heaps or Goncalves.
"It’s normal, I think, [because] the team is going in a good way and everything is going in a good way," Goncalves said. "We have other stuff to worry about. For us, it’s [about] the win. It’s not about the captaincy."
A major reason for the lack of controversy is due to the Revolution having a tight-knit locker room where players feel comfortable. While only one player can don the armband and participate in the coin toss, the leadership comes from all over the field.
"We have a lot of good leaders on this team," Heaps explained. "For me, it’s really a team kind of concept of who wears [the armband] and when they wear it and tonight we thought it would be good for Jermaine with his experience."
Heaps cited that Jones, Goncalves, Chris Tierney, and Andy Dorman are all potential candidates to lead the team out of the tunnel. Regardless of who that person is, the mindset remains the same. All of the players, many of whom have been in New England for several seasons, know their roles and are committed to winning. The captaincy is a small consideration in the process.
Goncalves sees it that way as well as he stated that his role doesn’t change simple because he’s wearing an armband.
"For me, my role doesn’t change," Goncalves said. "I’m still the same guy with the same number on the back. I come every day here and sit in my same place. Everyone knows exactly what they need to do and that’s our main focus."
While Goncalves might not have started the game with the armband, he did finish with it as Jones left in the 63rd minute. While the token was nice, being back on the field was more important to Goncalves.
"This injury is very frustrating," Goncalves reflected. "I was happy to be back on the field finally."