FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The 71st minute of last weekend’s 2-0 loss to Columbus Crew SC came and went with little fanfare, but for New England Revolution midfielder Scott Caldwell, it was an important moment.
It was then that Caldwell played his 10,000th regular-season minute, becoming just the second Homegrown field player in MLS history – along with teammate Diego Fagundez, who hit the mark on April 8 – to accomplish that feat.
“It’s a proud moment,” said Caldwell, who grew up in Braintree, Massachusetts, and was the first-ever captain of the Revolution’s U-18 team in 2008. “I’m very happy to do that for the Revolution, in front of the fans that I was (one of) growing up. It means a lot.”
Caldwell and Fagundez took very different paths to the pros – Caldwell played college soccer at the University of Akron for four years, while Fagundez signed as a 15-year-old – but they’ve both thrived for the Revolution, carving out starting spots in New England’s midfield.
Both players earned those minutes through skill and determination, but they also know that they’ve developed in part because they’ve been given the opportunity to do so in first-team matches. That’s a message that Caldwell hopes isn’t lost on the youngsters currently in the Revolution Academy.
“Going into this year, I had no idea that [10,000 minutes] was a milestone that people were looking at,” Caldwell said. “But then when I saw Diego hit it, it was great to see for the Academy and how well it’s done so far here.
“It’s something that the Academy kids can look to, to see that this is a real opportunity we have here.”
Caldwell has grasped hold of that opportunity, starting more than 30 games in each of the past two seasons while taking home team MVP honors in 2015. He’s done so while playing multiple positions, quietly going about his business with a steadiness that’s made him a fan favorite.
And Caldwell isn’t just a favorite amongst fans, but his teammates and coaches, as well.
“You can ask anybody in this organization – we love Scotty,” said Andrew Farrell, who was a Revolution rookie alongside Caldwell in 2013. “Personally, being one of his closest friends, I think it’s great for me just to be in the presence of greatness.
“He’s deserved every single minute. We’re really proud of him, and hopefully there are 10,000 more (minutes).”