Giacomo Vrioni has some large shoes to fill.
New England’s latest Designated Player comes to the Revolution after the departure of Adam Buksa who was finding the back of the net at an impressive rate. Before being transferred to RC Lens of Ligue 1 in France, Buksa had tallied 11 goals in all contests.
The Revs are also in an interesting spot as a club. They appear to be headed for an intense playoff hunt as they are currently 10th in the Eastern Conference. The end of the 2022 regular season will be filled with intrigue as the Revolution look to secure a playoff spot.
In his introductory press conference on Tuesday, Vrioni stated that he isn’t putting any added pressure on himself.
“Of course, I push myself to give everything every day, to learn something from the coach [Bruce Arena] because I know that he’s a good coach — he trained also with the [United States Men’s] National Team so I know which kind of coach I have,” he stated. “I will learn a lot from him. And we have to try to start to win the games to go into the playoffs because we have the opportunity to go there. I think we are a big team that plays good football, and we have to find the self-confidence and maintain the calm to win the games.”
Arena and his staff seemed to have played a role in Vrioni deciding to come to New England. The striker talked about why he chose to join the Revolution.
“I had a lot of teams here during the season and at the end of the season, but I had a call with the coach [Bruce Arena] and a call with a lot of people here and I feel comfortable,” Vrioni stated. “I saw that they believe a lot in me, and this for the player is very important, and this is why I said directly yes to come here because I saw that the coach believes a lot in me and also all of the team, all of the staff. And like what I said, for the player this is very important.”
With a full week of training under his belt, Revolution fans will be itching to see the starting lineups on Saturday as Vrioni could possibly make his debut against the Columbus Crew.