“I feel like I have been here for years” | Ivačič fitting right into the squad in Foxborough

5_3_24 Aljaz Ivacic action

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Goalkeeper Aljaž Ivačič has been fitting right into life in Foxborough since being announced as a free agent signing on transfer deadline day. The Slovenian was only kept out of the Revolution’s starting XI against Inter Miami CF by an unexpected bout of illness that ran through the squad on matchday, and overall the keeper has found himself enjoying working with his new teammates and eager to be a part of things both in training and on matchday.

In a press conference on Thursday, Ivačič said he was appreciative of the reception he has received from his new teammates since joining the club, first on a brief trial and now as a full senior player.

“They really accepted me well,” he said. “It has been three weeks I have been here, but I feel like I have been here for years. They’re really nice guys in the locker room and everything. They’re helping me, so they’re making it easier for me.”

Ivačič also highlighted the work ethic in the Revs locker room, saying, “it’s a really hard-working group, really pushing every day.”

He added that having a strong motivator in goalkeeper coach Kevin Hitchcock was helping him to keep his own effort levels high, and that the team’s high standards in general signaled to him that Foxborough would be the right fit.

“He is a hard-working guy,” Ivačič said of Hitchcock, “and this is something that I like, that is a part of me. It’s how I grew up and it’s the work that I believe in. It’s the hard work, that’s the only way, and he’s that guy and he has been helping me a lot. I still need to adapt to his training, but I love it and we’re really getting along.”

Speaking in Thursday’s press conference, head coach Caleb Porter highlighted how getting to see the goalkeeper train in person helped reassure him that the team was making the right decision in bringing him in.

“We had him in for a trial, that was huge,” Porter said. “Any time you can get a guy in to train with you before you sign him, that's ideal … To be able to see him train live, for me, the talent is obvious to see. He's very athletic. He's composed, he's confident, he's good with his feet. I think he fits the way we want to play. I think that's really key, finding pieces that fit our game model.”

Porter has repeatedly emphasized how he expects both Ivačič and defender Xavier Arreaga, who also joined the Revs on deadline day, will boost the team’s style of play in the week since the two signings were announced. He went into further detail on Thursday about how he expects their additions to strengthen the team as a whole.

“I think these two guys are good pieces for us,” Porter said. "They fit how we like to play. They fit, for me, the confidence that I want in my players, the understanding tactically that I want in my players, and I think when you start to put the pieces of the puzzle together the right way, then actually the other pieces get better, because everything starts to just add up and magnify. The whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts and the chemistry gets better, the confidence gets better. The analogy I always use is the spokes in a wheel. When you have good spokes, the wheel rolls better. It's just two pieces, but I think you'll see that we will be just a little bit better because of those two pieces.”

Fully recovered from illness, Ivačič will have his first opportunity to feature for the Revolution when they travel to Soldier Field to face Chicago Fire FC on Saturday, May 4, at 8:30 p.m. ET. Revs players and fans alike will be going into the match hoping for more than they got out of the 1-1 draw between the two teams in Foxborough on March 23, a game that saw New England create a number of chances and come away feeling like they should have taken all three points.