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Bruce Arena on Kizza: “He’s moving along exactly like we thought he would”

The striker secured the first MLS assist of his career against NYCFC on Saturday

SOCCER: SEP 11 MLS - New York City FC at New England Revolution Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The story of the New England Revolution in 2021 can’t be told without talking about the youngsters on the roster.

Whether it be Tajon Buchanan playing so well he will be headed to Europe after this season or former Revs II players Jon Bell and Maciel getting significant playing time, New England has been able to get some quality production out of their younger players. After Saturday’s match, Edward Kizza will get added to that conversation.

Kizza played 61 minutes against NYCFC completing 88 percent of his passes and granting 29 touches. There is no doubt that his most important play came in the 21st minute as he laid the ball off to Ema Boateng who would tie the game midway through the first half.

Kizza’s head coach Bruce Arena was happy with his performance on Saturday evening.

“He’s doing well, Arena said. “We’ve given him a lot of time with the second team. He’s getting better. He’s moving along exactly like we thought he would. So, it’s good to see. I think this game was better than his last game in Philadelphia. So, that’s a real positive sign.”

Besides tallying his first MLS assist, Kizza continued to show an improved hold up game and overall was a solid striker. While he still is far off from being a reliable part of the starting XI, the Revs have a project that they can work on.

There is a lot of pressure for the 22-year-old Ugandan. He is currently taking up an international roster spot so with that comes the expectation of some production.

Center back Henry Kessler was familiar with Kizza before he was drafted by New England. The two battled in college and Kessler said he is happy for his teammate after the win on Saturday.

He’s a guy I played against in college, and so I knew the skill he had coming in, said Kessler. “With Adam [Buksa] away and Gustavo [Bou] injured, he’s had the opportunity and I think he’s done well with the opportunity. So, hopefully he continues to progress.”

With Gustavo Bou nearing full health (we hope), it seems as though Kizza’s time in the starting XI is nearing its end. The rookie should hold his head up high as he has proven to be yet another depth option for New England.

So while he might not be the player that he wants to be just yet, it does seem like the striker has a bright future ahead of him.