Bengtson eager to adapt ahead of Olympic journey
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution landed one of CONCACAF’s brightest young talents on Thursday morning, announcing the acquisition of 25-year-old Honduran forward Jerry Bengtson via transfer from Honduran club CD Motagua.
Bengtson had long been a target of the Revolution after leading La Liga Nacional de Honduras in scoring for three straight seasons between 2010 and 2011, but negotiations for the 6-foot-1 striker accelerated in recent weeks with the opening of the International Transfer Window.
“He’s got great size, he’s got great speed and he’s got a knack around the goal,” head coach Jay Heaps said of his newest signing. “He’s been on our radar. We’ve been close to him before but the talks really started to heat up the last few weeks.”
Although he won’t officially be added to the Revolution’s roster until he receives his U.S. P-1 Visa and his International Transfer Certificate, Bengtson joined his new teammates for training on Thursday and is holding out hope he could be available for Sunday night’s meeting with the New York Red Bulls. Either way, the Honduras National Team regular is simply happy to have landed in Major League Soccer with the Revolution.
“MLS is a strong league,” Bengtson said through a translator. “I know there are a lot of good players and I’m here to work hard and help the team.”
The timing of Bengtson’s arrival in Foxborough was important for both the Revolution and the player. As Bengtson is one of Honduras’ three overage players on the country’s Olympic squad – an Under-23 tournament – the Revolution is still awaiting final confirmation from the Honduran federation about when Bengtson is expected to arrive in London.
While Bengtson is expected to have two weeks to acclimate to his new surroundings and gain a comfort level on the field and in the locker room before departing for London, he’ll also have the chance to increase his own sharpness ahead of the Olympic tournament.
“For me, it’s very important getting into a new team and hopefully starting playing on Sunday,” said Bengtson. “That means that fitness-wise it’s going to help me out, too, to go to the Olympics with my national team.”
“The fact that [the transfer] happened so quickly and he’s here is great,” added Heaps. “In terms of acclimating, you know how it is in this league. It’s very difficult for international players to just adapt and play their best, so any time you can get training in and get a player working with the team is the best.”
Bengtson is aware of the challenges which await as he makes the leap to his first club outside Honduras, but a workmanlike attitude and a genuine desire to make the Revolution a better team should aid in making the transition as smooth as possible.
“One of the things Jay said was he’s very happy to have me here and my response was the same; I’m very happy to be here,” said Bengtson. “At the same time, we talked about how I’m willing to work hard and put an effort to help the coach, to help the team and make myself a better player.”