FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Throughout the first two weeks of the 2018 season the New England Revolution’s new coaching staff has backed up its clean-slate mentality, demonstrated through their lineup selections. One player who has continually put his hat in the ring and capitalized on every opportunity to impress is the Revs’ top SuperDraft pick (8th overall), Brandon Bye.
Not only did the rookie make his professional debut off the bench in the season opener in Philadelphia, but he also made his first start in the Revs’ home opener against Colorado on Saturday.
“It’s pretty exciting to get my first start and get the first win of the season,” said Bye. “It feels good. The coaching staff is with me, and everyone keeps pushing to play better and better, and do better in practice every day – so everything feels good so far.”
After the Revs were issued a pair of red cards in the first game of the season, they were forced to change up their backline the following week. Based on the work Bye had put in, head coach Brad Friedel did not hesitate to call on him when they played down a man in Philly and as they returned to Gillette Stadium.
“[They were] two completely different positions to find himself in – down a man and playing on the right wing and then starting from the start of the game at right back,” said Friedel. “I think he’s coped with it very well because he has still a lot to learn in the game, but he’s been a very, very good addition to the squad so far.”
Bye’s work ethic, ability and versatility have been evident throughout both matches and training sessions, and his teammates have also taken notice.
“There’s a lot that’s been thrown at him,” said Jalil Anibaba, who played on the backline with Bye against Colorado. “There’s a lot that he has to learn on the fly, but he’s doing great. I thought his home debut was good. He was very solid, he was tuned in. He’s proven that he’s a good asset.”
Both Bye’s adaptability and confidence as a player – he’s currently tied with Cristian Penilla for the team lead in shots – are two characteristics that have helped him reach two major milestones early in his career. As Bye continues to learn and settle in with the team, he’ll only grow more confident.
“[The coaching staff] drafted me so obviously they have trust in me,” said Bye. “To just fit in right from the start with the guys, just start working right away, and obviously just getting on the field I was happy about. Everything’s felt good so far, and I just want to keep it rolling.”