In any relationship, communication is important. The soccer field is no exception.
Omar Gonzalez joined the New England Revolution this offseason and his communication skills are already helping him make an impact on the pitch.
“Yeah, I think Omar [Gonzalez] has come in and done a great job,” said Andrew Farrell. “He’s very vocal, which is, I think, something that we all need even more as a team. I think we’ve gotten better over the past couple of years being able to communicate like that, but I mean if everybody’s talking it just makes our jobs so much easier. But it depends on each situation, you know, if he’s a strong-side center back, he’s talking a little more, and sometimes I’ll talk more, it depends. But he’s been a good addition because obviously, you know, he’s, obviously, because if I get injured again, we’re going to have four games in the next, whatever it is. So, we need guys to be able to step up and play, and he’s also played in the [Concacaf Champions League], so that’s an important experience that he brings.”
Still there have been some early woes for Gonzalez. He got the start against the Portland Timbers and frankly looked like he was stuck in molasses early on in the match. Luckily for Revolution fans, Gonzalez found his play as the game progressed and looked much improved in the final 45 minutes.
Gonzalez came off the bench at half time of Saturday’s home opener as Henry Kessler was forced to leave due to a muscle injury. Gonzalez again looked well next to Farrell and helped the Revs secure a 1-0 win over FC Dallas.
The center back is well versed in the Concacaf Champions League. He won the competition with Mexican side Pachuca in 2017 and this will be his second straight year in the competition as he played with Toronto FC last year.
“What I can tell them is that in these two games you have to raise the level of play a little more, be a little more focused, play with a slightly quicker pace, read the game a little quicker, be more intense,” Gonzalez said when asked about the knowledge he can pass on to his teammates. “I know from my experience that in these games a lot of strange things happen. You have to be intense and stick to your plan. We need to be ready to play at home and on the road. We have to be ready to do what we need to do here at home.”
With Farrell noticing how vocal Gonzalez is, the defender was asked how important he feels communication is in regards to playing his position by the media on Tuesday.
“And in terms of the communication part, communication solves a lot of issues,” Gonzalez said. “And so, the more vocal all of us can be, the more things can get solved in a quicker manner, maybe save us some energy if we can use our voices rather than have to run those extra five yards or things like that. It can manifest itself in different ways. And so, the communication part is very important and it’s something that that myself, [Andrew] Farrell, and whoever’s on that field has to be ready to be tuned in, locked in and ready to go.”
The Revolution will rely on Gonzalez’s skills and experience on Wednesday where he is likely to get the start. Bruce Arena will be hoping that the veteran, along with the rest of New England’s back line is able to shut Pumas down and walk away with a clean sheet.