The New England Revolution held their first preseason practice on Tuesday and The Bent Musket was there to take it all in. Here are three thoughts from the day:
- I’m excited about Cristian Penilla because Brad Friedel is excited about Cristian Penilla. When speaking to media, Friedel gave a glowing review of Penilla. He said the attacker “possesses an incredible amount of pace” and that the Revs are “lucky to have him.” I wasn’t sure what to think of the signing when it was first announced, largely because the player had bounced around during the last few years, but Friedel’s ringing endorsement has me believing. If Penilla has the speed he’s said to have, he could be a hard man to contain (see David Acaam). Friedel did say that Penilla will have to earn his spot. That said, I expect the Ecuadorian to be a regular in the starting XI if he’s going to be earning so much money.
- Friedel is calm and confident. When I arrived at practice, the Revs had two separate possession games going with Friedel standing in the middle. The former goalkeeper encouraged his players to be active, calling out those who needed to move more. When the session ended, Friedel walked over to address the media. He answered questions in a clear way that showed that he was ready for the task in front of him. There were some questions he didn’t answer (like when I asked about his formation and the Lee Nguyen situation) but I didn’t get the feeling that he did this because he didn’t know what to say. Rather, he was opting not to show all of his cards.
- Isaac Angking seems like a nice kid. I got my first glimpse of the Revs’ newest Homegrown on Tuesday and the thing that stood out the most happened after training, as the 18-year-old came over and introduced himself to the media members in attendance. He, along with Zach Herivaux, was also present during a recent academy training session. These are little details but they do say a lot about Angking’s personality.