When it comes to the 2021 preseason, one of the players who seemed to make a name for himself is Brazilian midfielder Maciel. The Revs II product showed that he is capable of performing for the New England Revolution.
Maciel joined Revs II after making his way through the academy at Botafogo F.R. in his native Brazil. In 2020 he was someone that Revs II coach Clint Peay relied on with him being the only Revs II player to appear in all 16 matches of the 2020 USL League One season.
The 21-year-old was rewarded in 2021, being one of six Revs II players to train with the first team during preseason. Then on March 22nd things got even better for Maciel with him signing a contract with the first team.
But Maciel didn’t stop there. He featured prominently in the preseason for New England and he showed that he belonged. The midfielder was calm on the ball and also showed some skill in tracking back and defending opponents.
While this is Maciel’s first experience with the first team, there is one player who is quite familiar with the youngster. After he was acquired by the Revolution in 2020, midfielder Matt Polster trained with Revs II while the first team was down in Orlando competing in the MLS is Back tournament.
Polster was asked about the play of Maciel in preseason on Tuesday and he has definitley been impressed.
He said, “For me, I could see him being able to play at this level. I didn’t think it would be this quick and him be that good that quick. He’s been really good, very humble, and he’s been working really hard individually taking as much on board with the knowledge of each player helping him as much as possible to play the way he is. I think individually he is very good on the ball, very composed, he brings a different element to the game and I’m happy he’s doing well. I’m not entirely shocked, maybe the only shock is that he’s doing it so quickly.”
It will be interesting to see how Maciel is used with the regular season rapidly approaching. Revolution fans have yet to see Wilfrid Kaptoum who missed the entire preseason and New England will also likely be without Arnór Traustason who is currently only allowed to train by himself due to Covid-19 protocols.
With how frequently Maciel was used in preseason, could we see him play against the Chicago Fire in the season opener? The final preseason starting XI sure looked like a regular season starting XI and guess who was lined up in the midfield next to Polster? That’s right Maciel.
At just 21 years old, Maciel has plenty of soccer left to play and he is definitely someone that Revolution fans will want to keep an eye on in 2021 and beyond.