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Revs “very excited” about Cristian Penilla

Friedel says the Revs are “lucky” to have Penilla.

Landon Donovan farewell match. USA Vs Ecuador, Rentschler Field, Hartford, Connecticut. USA. Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

On Tuesday, the New England Revolution added 26-year-old midfielder/forward Cristian Penilla, a player that head coach Brad Friedel called “very exciting.”

Penilla, 26, joins the Revolution on loan from Pachuca and will serve as a Designated Player unless the team chooses to use Targeted Allocation Money.

Although he’s primarily played on the left side, the right-footed attacker could be deployed in a variety of ways. Regardless of where he lines up, Penilla has a skill set that should make him a difference maker.

“Cristian is a very exciting attacking player,” said Friedel. “He possesses an incredible amount of pace. He really does. We’re lucky to have him here.”

Friedel was quick to note that Penilla will have to earn his minutes just like everyone else on the roster. Penilla will compete against the likes of Diego Fagundez, Kelyn Rowe, Teal Bunbury, and Krisztian Nemeth.

Penilla, who doesn’t speak English, was present during the Revolution’s first training session and will acclimate himself during preseason trips to Florida and Arizona. Although it’s early days, team officials have been optimistic about their latest addition.

“We believe Cristian is a player with the ability to immediately compete for a significant role in New England,” Revolution general manager Michael Burns said in the team’s press release. “His wealth of experience at a highly competitive level makes us feel Cristian will be a great asset to the club’s attack as we begin the 2018 season.”