Change is in the air for the New England Revolution.
In his three months at the helm, new head coach Brad Friedel has already started to leave his mark. While new faces, including two assistants, a head of fitness, and several players, are most visible, Friedel has also made tweaks elsewhere to help the team function as a unit.
The dining area has been expanded, which allows teammates to eat together. Phones won’t be permitted in this area as to encourage players to talk. These are little things but the players think they could have a big effect.
“You can feel the difference,” Antonio Delamea told The Bent Musket during the first training session of 2018. “We are talking more to each other. I think there will be a better atmosphere in the locker room.”
Friedel has also been clear about his expectations for how the players should conduct themselves. If a player fails to meet these standards, there will be consequences.
“Brad set the rules the first day he came in,” Delamea said. “He will be very strict with [the rules]. There will be fines.”
Fines are nothing new for Delamea, who played in Europe before joining the Revs ahead of the 2017 season. The defender understands that rules and punishments aren’t meant to be a negative. Instead, they’re supposed to focus the team on what’s important.
“Well, honestly, in Europe, that’s something normal,” Delamea explained. “Some coaches are using fines with money, maybe some others (use) some other things but I think that’s the correct thing. We are all part of the team and we all have to act like one person, so if one rule stands for one person then it needs to stand for all.”
The players will certainly have the opportunity to have some fun but they know that there are going to be times when everyone has to be keyed in to the task at hand.
“When we are joking, we are joking,” Delamea concluded. “When we are working, we have to work our hardest.”