FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Jose Goncalves enjoyed a remarkable first season with the New England Revolution.
The 28-year-old Portuguese center back was named club captain in early May and immediately embraced the leadership role, guiding New England’s resolute backline while playing every minute of every regular-season and postseason game. Goncalves’ steady performances earned praise league-wide, making him the frontrunner to take home Major League Soccer’s Defender of the Year award.
“Everything went well,” said Goncalves, noting that he’s honored to wear the captain’s armband. “I think the first year, for us, we achieved what we wanted to achieve from the start; the playoffs. Of course, at the end it didn’t go the way we wanted to be, but soccer is like this. It’s life and we have to accept and move on to the next step.”
For Goncalves and the Revolution, the next step is ensuring the defender’s future is in Foxborough. Goncalves played this past season on loan from Swiss club FC Sion, but the Revs do have a purchase option and both club and player have indicated a strong desire to continue the relationship.
“Jose is a very important piece of what we did this year,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “We’re very proud of the way we defended this year front to back. Jose, his leadership – he’s captain of our team – so it’s very important. He’s a very important piece of what we’re doing.”
“I’m looking to the next year for my future,” said Goncalves, adding that he “definitely” wants to be back with the Revolution in 2014. “Of course, if there is a good option for me to be back here next year, I will be here. There is no doubt.”
With both Goncalves and the Revolution seemingly eager to complete a deal, what remains are the logistics of actually getting it done. It’s a process which both sides understandably wanted to leave for the offseason, so as not to distract from the task at hand during the mid-year grind and subsequent playoff push.
“My mind was already set for the Revolution; to be concentrated about my job and what I will do here for the year,” Goncalves said. “Everything around, everything else, it will happen after the season. For me, the first priority was the club … then we can start looking forward.”