It was announced on Monday that goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth had signed a contract extension with the New England Revolution, meaning that the beloved back-stop will call Gillette Stadium home for a while longer.
As it stands now, Shuttleworth is a seven-year veteran of the league who has played in 97 games, made 267 saves, and posted 27 shutouts. While numbers like that jump off the page, the 28-year-old native of Tonawanda, NY did not immediately step into a prominent role.
Before emerging as the clear-cut starter in 2013 - a season in which Shuttleworth started 22 games - Matt Reis, Brad Knighton, and others were ahead in the pecking order. That duo pushed Shuttleworth to become the best he could be and, along with the guidance of goalkeeper coach Remi Roy, shaped the former University of Buffalo ‘keeper into the player Revs fans see today.
"Credit to Bobby and his commitment to get better, because when he first got here he was behind Matt Reis and even Brad Knighton when he first came in," Jay Heaps said before training on Wednesday. "To see the level of those two compete and then Bobby was really young and what kind of player he was going to be. I credit it a lot to the goalkeepers in front of him, but also most recently to Remi Roy, our goalkeeper coach.
"The two of them have really struck a great partnership in how to get Bobby from not just third string to backup, from backup to starter, and now the next phase where Bobby has another level."
In particular, Shuttleworth pointed out that Reis and himself struck up a special relationship. The Revs legend, who donned the symbolic number one shirt, served as a model goalkeeper he could aspire to emulate.
"I learned so much from Matt," Shuttleworth said. "The experience I gained from him and what I was able to take away, not only from what he was saying to me but also watching him in training and in games, is priceless for me. Matt has a certain style and I have a certain style and I've learned as much as I can from him."
Now as Shuttleworth sits on a record of eight wins, eight losses, and six draws in 2015, his future is secure. There will still be training ground battles with Knighton and Trevor Spangenberg, but it is clear that Shuttleworth and the Revs have become synonymous.
Mainly, he has has come a long way with the only MLS club he's ever known and is appreciative of the opportunity to further etch out a career in New England.
"I've been here for a long time and it's really the only club I've been at, so I'm pretty settled here," Shuttleworth said. "I'm excited that they've put the faith in me going forward and obviously grateful to them for letting me develop and just an exciting time."