The New England Revolution are 3-1-1, which is an impressive start for a team that brought in a new coach and several new players. This success didn’t happen overnight, however, as the coaching staff spent many hours during preseason developing and implementing their plan.
Consider this: Friday’s game against the Montreal Impact marked the first time that a 2017 holdover was credited with an assist. Before that, all seven of the Revolution’s goals were aided by newcomers. This stat helps prove that Brad Friedel and his staff made quality addtions.
“Not every signing is always going to be the right one, that’s for sure, but we do a lot of work and we’re in this office countless hours, trying to figure out everything that we can find out about a player before we bring him through the door,” Friedel explained.
The Revs brought in nine new faces to supplement their core. Of this lot, Gabriel Somi, Wilfried Zahibo, Cristian Penilla, Jalil Anibaba, and Luis Caicedo have secured spots in the starting lineup. Meanwhile, Brandon Bye has made contributions off the bench while fellow draft pick Mark Segbers is getting valuable minutes with Orange County SC of the USL. As a whole, the newcomers have amassed just shy of 2,000 minutes.
Numbers like this don’t happen by chance. The Revolution coaching staff were diligent during the offseason, looking to learn everything they could about any potential signing.
“The easy ones, is to make sure that they can play on the field,” Friedel said. “The harder thing is to find out what they’re like on a personal level and how they conduct themselves off the field, how they integrate, how they’re willing to integrate into a system, how they’re willing to integrate to learn a new language, how they’re willing to come to a place maybe where the weather’s not as warm as it is.”
The time they spent has paid off so far, as their record is the second-best five-game start in Revs history. In 2005, the club went 4-0-1, eventually capturing 25 points through 11 games.
While the Revolution are happy with what’s been accomplished so far, they know there’s still work to be done.
“It’s nice to see some of the players, or most all the players, are paying dividends right now, but it’s still early in the season,” Friedel summarized. “We have to stay firmly focused on the job at hand, but we’re really happy with the signings that we’ve made so far.”