It took a while but Arnór Traustason showed why the New England Revolution acquired him.
The Icelandic midfielder came with quite the reputation. He appeared in the 2018 World Cup for Iceland and also played for Malmo over in Sweden.
But Traustason hasn’t exactly lit MLS on fire. Wednesday was his 10th start and 14th appearance for the Revolution and he only had two assists to his name. That all changed against Inter Miami.
The 28-year-old had the best game in New England scoring two goals and dominating the night for the Revs. He also completed 35 of his 36 passes, 48 touches, and had three successful tackles.
After the victory, Bruce Arena was asked about the midfielder’s performance and the Head Coach and Sporting Director said that “He’s getting there” in regards to making the transition to MLS.
Arena said, “He’s only been around – I don’t even think he’s been here for a dozen games. It’ll take a little time, but he’s a good player and he comes from a league that has some similarities to MLS. I didn’t think the transition would be tremendously difficult as opposed to players who come from South America, for example. So, he’s making the transition. I think the goal[s] tonight [were] very important for his confidence, because he’s had some chances over the last 10 games or so and has failed to convert. So tonight, it’s great to see that he got two goals.”
While Revolution fans can admit that Miami’s defense was less than stellar, something was different. Traustason played in a more central role and he admitted after the game that he feels the most comfortable operating in the middle of the field.
Still the 28-year-old is taking things one step at a time. After his performance, he said that he still needs to keep working.
“The game has just ended,” Traustason said when asked if he found his footing in MLS. “I mean, it’s nice to get those goals in, but I have to keep my head down and just work hard, because this league is not easy. It will not come on its own. So, work hard and just keep on going.”
So what makes MLS different compared to Europe? Well that’s a question that Traustason can’t exactly answer.
The Icelandic midfielder said, “I don’t know exactly, but it’s something that is much more different than I’m used to. And it’s also one thing, like I didn’t get any preseason with the team. So, it was almost just straight into training, some individual training to begin with then straight in with the team. It’s always hard when you don’t have any preseason at all. It took some time to build up and the league is especially different. I really can’t answer your question, but something is different.”
Hopefully, this is just the start for Traustason who will be looking to earn a permanent spot in the starting XI. After this performance, Revolution fans hope that’s where he will be when New England faces off against CF Montreal on Sunday at Gillette Stadium.