FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – An old saying goes “we’re more than a team, we’re a family.”
There is no locker room that embodies that sentiment more than the 2022 New England Revolution.
While the Revs secured a critical three points with a 1-0 win over FC Dallas in their home opener on Saturday, the bigger celebrations were not about the result, but rather major personal milestones for players.
After reigning MLS MVP Carles Gil calmly slotted the ball to the bottom right corner of the net to convert the game-winning goal from the penalty spot right before the half, the playmaker revealed that he and his wife Maria are expecting their first child.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Matt Turner, who did not play against FC Dallas as he is resting a lower leg injury, invited the team and fans to be a part of him and his fiancée Ashley’s gender reveal right after the final whistle.
With the most important kick of the game, blue confetti burst into the net illuminating the six-yard box with the joyous news that the newly-engaged couple will be welcoming a baby boy this summer.
“I was actually kind of pissed because he didn’t want to tell me what the gender was before it happened,” joked Andrew Farrell. “But I’m excited for him and Ashley, his fiancée now. So yeah, excited for them.”
“It’s awesome. I’m really happy for Matt,” said Earl Edwards Jr. “I’m fortunate to have a girl and a boy, so I’m happy he’s getting a boy. It looks like Carles’ wife is pregnant, as well, so there’s a lot of good things going on.”
“[It was] a big day, a lot of celebrations with Carles announcing he’s having a baby and then Bruce [Arena] with his accomplishment for being the best,” said Farrell.
With Saturday’s victory over FC Dallas, head coach Bruce Arena surpassed legend Sigi Schmid for the most regular season wins in MLS history, as he claimed his 241st triumph.
Part of what has gotten Arena to that point, though, has been the family-like locker rooms that have been successful on and off the field along the way.
“We’re trying to create a family atmosphere here and have close associations with the team and the staff,” said Arena. “And spend as much time as we can, getting families involved in the team. Unfortunately, this pandemic over the last couple years, has made it virtually impossible for us to get together with families after games. That part has been disappointing, but now we’re coming out of it and we’re getting to spend time with the players and their families, as well.
“We try to have a family atmosphere. So, it’s nice that Matt felt comfortable doing that."
No matter how long you have been a part of the team, a seasoned veteran or a newcomer, it was evidently a family with these special moments in the home opener.
“You see those celebrations, you know, with people having baby reveals on the field, that says a lot about the camaraderie in the group itself,” said Jozy Altidore. “So it’s a really healthy group, nice group to come into. You know, a lot of these guys are locked down for years to come. So, you feel that there can be something special built."