The Braintree, MA, native and Revolution homegrown had played his first nine professional seasons after joining the Revs following his collegiate career at Akron. After making over 200 appearances for the Revolution, Caldwell has started both of RSL’s league matches in 2022 and played 179 out of a possible 180 minutes so far.
But it’s still going to be very different to see Caldwell playing for the wrong team, just as it was to have Kelyn Rowe and Diego Fagundez play for other teams as well.
“It was definitely different at first,” said Caldwell on a Wednesday Zoom call with the media from RSL’s team facility. “I’m sure it will feel weird this weekend. but it’s been an awesome experience and one that at this moment I’m excited I took this opportunity at Salt Lake, it’s been amazing, and I’m just looking forward to this weekend.”
While Caldwell still holds a fondness for his home town team, he talked about being fully dedicated to his new team as well.
“You know I’m obviously still a Revolution fan since from when I was a kid,” started Caldwell, “And I always want whats best for the club and the team. And who knows what the future holds but for now my main focus is helping Real Salt Lake to anything on the field and when I’m off the field just help them in any way possible.”
For Brandon Bye, the Revolution right back has always had Caldwell as a teammate after being drafted in 2018 and holds the former Revs midfielder in high regard.
“It’ll be exciting. It’s good to see him again. Hope he’s doing well in Salt Lake City,” Bye told the media after Revs practice on Friday. “It’ll be good to see him again. He is a club legend here. I have a lot of respect for him. He came in when I was a rookie through my time here, so it’s good. It’s exciting to see him for sure.”
For both New England and Salt Lake there could be a lot of lineup changes going into the game. RSL Soapbox’s Matt Montgomery detailed the visitor’s injury list in our preview yesterday and the Revs face UNAM Pumas in their return leg of the CCL quarterfinals midweek. Just how many changes is something Bruce Arena will have to finalize when he pens his starting lineup.
“We’re going to have some changes in our lineup,” Arena said, also during the Friday media session. “Specifically who, we haven’t decided at this point and will, obviously, over the next 24 hours. There’ll be some new faces on the field tomorrow night.”
Both the Revs and RSL have started the year with a win and a draw and have four points on the young 2022 campaign. The teams currently sit fifth in their respective conferences in the league standings heading into tonight’s contest.