It’s been said time and time again that it isn’t easy for foreign players to come to MLS. The style is different, the culture is unique, and, of course, the travel is arduous. These are the challenges that face newcomer Cristhian Machado, and so far he’s been up to the task.
Machado, 28, signed with the New England Revolution on Jul. 23, moving him from native Bolivia to the United States. Despite the change, Machado has looked comfortable while training in his new setting.
“He’s done well,” Head coach Brad Friedel praised. “He’s assimilated himself very well so far. [He’s got a] bubbly character. [He’s] a good guy, hard worker. He’ll take no time at all settling in.”
Soon after inking his contract, Machado was on the field practicing with his new teammates. On Tuesday, he was seen roaming the midfield in a small-sided scrimmage. Although it’s only been a week, his strongest qualities have already shined through.
“He’s just a powerful guy,” goalkeeper Matt Turner told The Bent Musket. “He can strike the crap out of the ball. He’s good. He likes to talk. He fits in well with the guys. He’s a hardworking player that’s not afraid to tackle in the midfield.”
According to Friedel, Machado’s “fitness looks very good” which puts him in contention for Saturday’s game against Orlando City. The 5’8 player can slot in at a variety of positions, including at defensive midfield or anywhere along the back line. One place he’s not expected to feature, however, is left back
“Cristhian is a versatile player,” Friedel remarked. “Right now we’re looking at him in other positions [besides left back]. If he needs to fill in at left back at some stage then possibly he could do that but that’s not what we’re looking at at this moment and time.”