When the New England Revolution announced the formation of Revolution II it signaled that the team was focused on developing talent in USL League One to benefit the first team. Bruce Arena’s comments when talking about the competition at defensive midfielder in 2021 proved that they must be doing something right.
When it comes to the midfield, New England is rather stacked to the brim. Scott Caldwell, Tommy McNamara, Carles Gil, and Matt Polster are returning to the club in 2021. Also after missing the entirety of 2020 due to injury Luis Caicedo will also be available in 2021.
But that didn’t stop New England from making moves in the offseason. The Revs acquired Wilfrid Kaptoum and from what teammates and Arena have said, he appears to be fitting in quite well.
Still, a new player has arisen in the battle for specifically the defensive midfield position on the 2021 roster, Revs II midfielder Maciel.
The midfielder arrived in the United States after spending time with Botafogo F.R. Academy in his native Brasil. He started in all 16 games that Revs II played last year.
When asked about the defensive midfielder competition on Monday, Arena made a point to mention the Revs II player who is currently training with the first team.
Arena said, “Yes, there is. I think in those positions we have Wilfrid Kaptoum as well as Tommy McNamara, and Maciel from the second team is in training in that position as well. And did I mention Luis Caicedo? There’s a lot of competition there and it’s an area we need to be better in. I think that was one position that stood out in the playoff game against Columbus, where they were playing [Darlington] Nagbe and Artur and I think they had the edge in that game. That’s an area we know we need to get better in.”
You may notice that Arena didn't mention Caldwell or Polster. That’s simply because they were already mentioned in the question that was asked by Frank Dell’Apa of the Boston Globe.
There is no doubt that the competition is steep, but simply the fact that Maciel is mentioned shows how much of an impact he made for Revs II in 2020, and his continued positive efforts in 2021.
Maciel will get his first chance to stake his claim for a spot on the first team roster when the Revs head out west to play some preseason games.
“There’s, if I’m not mistaken, six (Revs II) players and we’ll bring some players to California,” Arena said. “We’ll obviously make that decision in another 10 days or so.”