The New England Revolution have come a long way.
Ever since Bruce Arena arrived in 2019, the trajectory of the club has been flipped on its head. New England went from the MLS dumpster all the way to lifting the Supporters’ Shield in 2021.
While fans can easily attest to the rapid change, newly signed center back Omar Gonzalez was able to give an outsider’s perspective in his introductory press conference.
“Well, I can’t speak to those glory days where they were always in MLS Cup before I entered the league, but since I’ve been in the league, maybe there has been this perception of the team doesn’t spend much money,” said Gonzalez. “There’s always been maybe a little bit of bad perception from the players, but now you see how the team has changed and bringing in Bruce and showing that they are committed to being one of the top clubs – and that started with Bruce – and starting to change things into building a training facility for the players, building state-of-the-art stuff, facilities so that the players can perform to their best capabilities. And then you start to see, New England is serious. They really want to be at the top and I think that’s when the perception starts to change among myself and my peers. Then to see the growth that they’ve had in the past couple of years since Bruce’s arrival, there’s no question about it now. That’s why I’m really excited to be a part of it. I want to be a part of this growth. I want to be a part of adding a star to the jersey, to making the fans proud, seeing a full Gillette Stadium. That would be incredible. So, there’s a lot of things to look to, and I’m hoping that we can accomplish those goals.”
It’s good to know that even outside influences saw the dire path the Revolution were on. They needed full support from ownership and the acquisitions of Arena, Gustavo Bou, Adam Buksa, and Carles Gil showed that the Kraft’s weren’t playing around anymore.
Another testament to the rapid facelift that occurred in New England is the fact that key pieces of an MLS Cup winning team in Los Angeles such as Gonzalez, Sebastien Lletget, and A.J. DeLaGarza came to the Revs to win.
Gonzalez said that he was excited when he found out that the Revolution were interested in his services.
“The fact that New England came calling me and asking me to join the team, that was really special, very humbling and flattering really, because last year they were just tremendous,” said the center back. “At first thought, to be able to be a part of this organization was something that I was really keen on. And then the conversations, I think already spoke to those conversations. The initial ones I had with Bruce, he talked about the locker room. He talked about how busy the schedule was going to be in this 2022 campaign. He talks about the players on the field and how I could complement the backline with the players who already are there and so it just seemed like the perfect fit for me.”
But New England has one more step to go in its transformation. They need to win an MLS Cup and Gonzalez along with his Revolution teammates will begin their chase for a cup at the end of February when the 2022 MLS Season begins.