The New England Revolution announced on Wednesday that they have signed Omar Gonzalez to a two-year deal and the 33-year-old center back also met with the media that afternoon.
The MLS veteran has nearly 250 league appearances along with 31 appearances in international club competitions.
While a starter in Toronto FC, Gonzalez seems to understand that he won’t have the same role in New England.
“They’re a well-established group,” he said. “They played really well last year. Obviously, [Henry] Kessler and [Andrew] Farrell are a great center-back pairing. I think I’m coming in to add to the competition. I want to be on the field just as much as they do, and I think as a player, as [are] those two guys, you should never be satisfied, and you should always be trying to push to be your best, and so I’m coming in to push them. I’m coming to push myself, and hopefully we can all make each other better, and we can make it an even better 2022 than they had in 2021. That’s the goal. We want to win MLS Cup. We want to win Champions League. The thing that I’m adding is depth, and whether I’m on the field, whether I’m starting, whether I’m not starting, I’m a team-first guy. I’m committed. I’m all in. The decision comes down from Bruce, ultimately, and we as players have to do our job and do what the boss says. Ultimately, I’m coming in and bringing my experience, bringing my good vibes. I see myself as a good teammate, and I’m looking forward to joining this great locker room.”
Gonzalez elaborated on this when questioned about Bruce Arena’s expectations for the center back when CONCACAF Champions League play begins.
“Those conversations go to – you need depth at the very beginning of the season,” said Gonzalez. “Games come quickly, and you need to be able to rotate. You need experienced players. Bringing me along, I have the experience. I’ve played in this tournament before. I can help the other guys who maybe don’t have that experience, be a good sounding board. Ultimately, yeah, my time in Mexico with Pachuca. We weren’t the biggest club. We didn’t have the biggest stars. We matched up against Tigres in the final and took them down, so anything’s possible in this tournament. The discussions I have with Bruce are, he doesn’t know if I’m going to be starting. He doesn’t know who he’s going to make for his roster decisions yet. The season hasn’t begun. Preseason has even started. Ultimately, we all have to push each other to be our best, because the season is going to come really quickly and we need to be firing on all cylinders from the get-go.”
Arena also seems to be building quite the locker room. He has gotten the band back together with Gonzalez and Sebastian Lletget this offseason along with A.J. DeLaGarza and Emmanuel Boateng last offseason.
Gonzales indicated that outsiders could tell that New England had a strong locker room.
“I’m a big believer in having that tight-knit bond, that camaraderie,” the 33-year-old said. “The good locker room leads to great things on the field. You could see it last year with the Revs. I mean, it wasn’t like they were blowing out teams five, six to zero. There were a few come-from-behind wins where they were down, and they found a way to come back and get the victory. So, that just shows the true character of the team. The way they battled together throughout the entire season. There’s only one way to break that record that was in place and that’s by doing what they did and doing it together. And so that’s I’m looking forward to joining. I’ve heard and I’ve read the articles how it’s just a bunch of guys who played college and just a lot of good guys. I spoke with Bruce and from top to bottom, everyone shows up, everyone does their business, everyone’s ready to work. There’s good times off the field and who doesn’t like being a part of an environment like that, where you can have those bonds and then step on the field. Ultimately, that’s why we’re all doing it. We all want to win. I want to win, and that’s why I’m joining the Revs.”
With CONCACAF Champions League play inching closer, Revolution fans won’t have to wait long to see Gonzalez suit up for the club and help New England in its quest for an MLS Cup.