FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Andy Dorman spent the first four years of his professional career developing into one of the most promising young players in the New England Revolution system, before the lure of Europe sent him on a five-year journey through England and Scotland.
Now a vastly experienced 30-year-old midfielder, Dorman is back in New England to provide a veteran presence both on and off the field for a young Revolution side in need of additional leadership.
“We’re really excited to add Andy to our group,” said head coach Jay Heaps, who was a teammate of Dorman’s during the Welshman’s first stint with the Revs from 2004-07. “First and foremost, he’s a great player, but he adds a couple things I think we were missing this year which is experience – not only in the league, but internationally – and also a locker room presence. He’s someone who shows up to work every day and puts out 100 percent energy and that’s contagious.”
“I hope I can add a bit of experience to the team,” said Dorman. “There are a lot of young players and if we can get a good blend of youth and experience, it will put us in a good position for next year.”
Dorman joined the Revs for a week-long training stint in October and according to Heaps instantly fit into the current group, which has changed drastically since Dorman’s departure after the 2007 season. Of course, Heaps already knew everything he needed to know about his former teammate’s ability on the field and presence in the locker room.
“For me, he’s a consummate teammate,” said Heaps. “He’s always been a guy who teammates can lean on. Whether he was a rookie or in his third year or now that’s a veteran, that doesn’t change. The person he is will never change.”
The player, however, has changed slightly since making 112 regular-season appearances with the Revs while notching 17 goals and 18 assists. Heaps noted that Dorman has increased his strength and is “just a little bit harder,” adding that the Revs could use a bit of steel in midfield.
Dorman’s approach to the game will also give the Revolution’s attack a different element. Many of New England’s current midfielders look to play side-to-side in a possession-based style, while Dorman prefers to attack a bit more directly.
“He’s vertical and that’s what we need,” said Heaps. “He doesn’t wait around to get every pass with his back to the goal – 10 to 15 passes – he’s trying to get behind the defense and we like that. I think Andy, he’ll outwork anybody and his soccer mind is very tactical. He can see the runs when they’re on.”