Perhaps no player embodies the spirit of the high press system more than Luis Caicedo.
If you watch any New England Revolution game, you’ll quickly notice the amount of ground that the midfielder covers. One moment he’s playing high to prevent a defender from turning. The next he’s dropping back to clog up passing lanes. He even gets into the attack from time to time, which was the case on Jul. 14 when he recorded a goal and assist against the LA Galaxy.
This passion and grit was exactly what head coach Brad Friedel was hoping for when he signed the Colombian in March.
Speaking to The Bent Musket via a translator, Caicedo explained that he’s a “perfect fit” for the Revolution’s style. He went on to say that Friedel has praised him for his aggressive ability to close down players.
Caicedo has been one of Friedel’s best signings, appearing in 18 of their 21 games. He’s received a lot of recognition from local and national media, something that he attributes to his ability to adapt.
Of course, there were challenges associated with his move to MLS. According to Caicedo, the American league is more tactical, vertical, and faster than what he’s used to in Colombia.
There have also been issues regarding the language barrier, which Caicedo names as the hardest hurdle he’s encountered. Fortunately, the Spanish-speaking 22-year-old has received help from the likes of Cristian Penilla, Diego Fagundez, and certain members of the coaching staff.
Here, too, Caicedo is making progress. He’s currently taking English classes and hopes to speak to American journalists without a translator in a couple of months.
Whether he’s discussing the strides he’s made on or off the field, Caicedo is quick to credit his teammates. They, along with the coaching staff, have made him as comfortable as possible to the point that New England, just a few a months in, already feels like home.
Note: This interview was conducted via a translator. As a result, all quotes are paraphrased.