Jordan McCrary has only been with the New England Revolution for a few weeks, but he’s already shown an impressive amount of growth. The reason? His ability to soak in the advice of those around him.
The rookie, drafted 10th overall in this year’s SuperDraft, called his first few days "a struggle," admitting that there’s a different level of intensity that comes with playing in MLS. He’s since adjusted and now feels right at home with the Revs.
"A lot of guys give me a lot of tips, a lot of times about how to stay focus and stay prepared, so I think I’ve been able to progress from it," McCrary told media on Thursday.
One major influence on McCrary has been Andrew Farrell. The two players have already developed a positive bond with Farrell serving as the elder statesmen. As a former right back, the 2015 team defender of the year is able to impart wisdom, especially since both individuals line up on the same side.
Now in his fourth MLS season, Farrell is passing on the same helpful hints that were given to him by veterans like Chris Tierney. McCrary has been told to relax, have confidence, and continue to work hard. So far, the advice has stuck.
"He’s a great player coming in and each day he’s getting better and better," Farrell said of McCrary. "He’s doing great. He’s taking constructive criticism really well. We’re happy to have him."
McCrary has featured in all three of the Revolution’s preseason games. The right back, who came with the disclaimer of being "defense-first," has already nabbed a goal, finding the back of the net on a great solo run against the Vancouver Whitecaps. McCrary hopes that more goals are in his future and it could happen if he continues to listen to head coach Jay Heaps.
"I know that I need to push up the field and get in certain spots, but [Heaps has] actually been able to really give me an exact spot in the right moments," McCrary said. "We had a talk and after that talk, I actually scored. He knows what he’s talking about."
For now, McCrary is focused less on goals and more on earning a spot in the starting lineup. This won’t be an easy task as the UNC product faces tough competition in the form of veteran Darrius Barnes and dynamic attacker London Woodberry. McCrary believes he can win the spot, though, as long as he continues to develop.
"Right now I’m just trying to figure out how I can work my way into the starting lineup," McCrary said. "To do that, I have to get better every day."