On Tuesday the New England Revolution announced that 16-year-old Noel Buck had signed with the first team and became the club’s eighth homegrown player.
The midfielder has been with the Revolution Academy since he was 12 and is the second-youngest Academy player to sign a homegrown contract behind Diego Fagundez.
At such a young age, Buck has a long career ahead of him. Bruce Arena and his staff can take their time developing Buck to be ready for MLS competition.
Buck seemed to acknowledge this when asked about the jump from Revs II that was made by players such as Jon Bell and Maciel.
“Obviously, those guys are a little bit older than I am, but honestly, coming into the season, I just know it’s going to be a lot of hard work and it’s going to be very difficult for me even just to get minutes, so I’m expecting a really hard-working year for myself and hopefully I can get on the field,” he said. “And if not, then I can play for Revs II to get my experience up, getting games in and hopefully, over the next couple of years, I can continue to impact this team in a positive way.”
Arena and his staff have echoed this message to the young midfielder.
“They’ve made clear to me that it’s not going to be easy,” said Buck. “They all believe in me, which is very helpful and there’s a lot of great coaching staff that are there such as Bruce [Arena], who is one of the best coaches in the country, so I’m keen to work under him. And I know that again, it’s just a lot of hard work. I’ve just got to keep moving forward.”
Buck is already getting adjusted to life on the first team. He stated that he is getting help from veterans who have just joined the team as well as club legend Andrew Farrell.
All the guys are very helpful like a couple of new guys, like Omar [Gonzalez], has been great to me,” said the midfielder. “He’s been really helpful and getting me in since he’s all experienced. He’s an older guy and he’s also in the same situation. New guy, but looking at him, how to come into a new locker room has been really helpful to me. And a lot of older guys such as Matt Polster and Andrew Farrell, those guys have been great and welcoming me and made it much easier than I would have thought, actually.”