With his team up 3-2 on the road against FC Cincinnati, New England Revolution head coach Bruce Arena inserted Jon Bell to see out the game. The center back did his job, resulting in three points.
Bell only played seven minutes (plus stoppage time), but it was an important outing as it marked his return from a leg injury that kept him out longer than expected.
“It felt good,” Bell said. “You know, being out for so long, watching from the sidelines, it definitely hurts and you just have to be patient, make sure your body’s ready. For me to get a couple minutes out there felt great.”
Bell had a promising 2021 season as the left-footed center back showcased his speed and aerial prowess in twelve appearances (nine starts). The Revs II graduate also offered one goal and two assists in his 819 minutes.
Bell made three starts for the Revs in 2022 before being sidelined with an injury. He paired with Andrew Farrell in a 3-2 loss to Real Salt Lake before playing consecutive games with Omar Gonzalez. The first game was a 3-0 loss in the second leg of the Concacaf Champions League Quarterfinals and the second was a 3-1 loss to Charlotte FC.
Bell sent a heartfelt tweet after the Charlotte game where he promised to “strive to do better and be better.” It was a human moment that we don’t see often in sports.
I take full responsibility for my efforts on the field lately and apologize to my teammates and our fans for my performance...I'm going to strive to do better and be better✊ #NERevs— Jon Bell (@astrobell23) March 20, 2022
“When I did that right after the game, it was just real emotion, just how I was feeling,” Bell told The Bent Musket. “For myself, I like to play the best that I can and one thing I don’t like to do is let my team down, my coaches down, the fans, and obviously my family who watch from home and support me.
“For me, that was just a moment where I felt like I needed to reflect. Honestly, I didn’t think I gave my best performance and I think I have to do better in those situations. For me, that was just a moment of reflection.”
Primarily a left back in college, Bell moved to the heart of the backline when he began playing with Revs II. He continues to develop in that position, gaining valuable insight from experienced players like Andrew Farrell.
“He’s definitely just a book that you can learn from,” Bell said of Farrell. “He’s always helpful, guiding me. Any time I have a question, he’s always enthusiastic about it and he’s helping me all the time. He’s a great person to have as a mentor and as a leader on the team.
With the Revs scheduled to play three games in eight days, Bell could get an extended run soon. His first opportunity will be on Wednesday when the Revs travel to face New York City FC for a U.S. Open Cup game.