FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – After starting 23 games as a rookie last season it may seem as if New England Revolution defensive-mid Scott Caldwell, who has only two starts this season, has taken a back seat in his sophomore campaign.
That couldn’t be further from the truth as Caldwell has been a force coming off of the bench, helping solidify the Revs defense late in games, something his club has taken full notice of.
“Scott’s a very intelligent player, he understands the game,” coach Jay Heaps told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. “Whether starting or coming off the bench he has a really good read and understanding of what our gameplan is and what the game is calling for.”
Of New England’s last nine games, Caldwell has been a second half sub in seven, each of them Revolution victories where he has helped the club maintain a late lead.
On most occasions he has spelled Daigo Kobayashi on the pitch, providing the Revs with an extra hand on the defensive effort as they look to close out their opponent.
Caldwell’s nose for the ball has resulted in numerous clearances out of the box, most coming after the 70th minute, something teammate Andy Dorman notes as being “massive” for the team.
“Positionally, how to kill a game, his record of when he’s come on to the pitch has been pretty ridiculous closing down games,” Dorman told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. “His soccer brain has helped us see out games.”
The second Homegrown player signed by New England, Caldwell’s current role has helped the second year player continue to learn on the job while also allowing him to gain skills that go beyond just that of shutting down the opposition.
“On the field he played a lot last year and did really well,” said Dorman. “This year, coming off the bench he’s shown his work rate and leadership skills.”
In a congested New England lineup, Caldwell has been able to comfortably and effectively find space coming off of the bench.
He is ultimately destined for a starter’s role in the future, but for now, the Revs are more than happy with Caldwell’s continued progress.