“It’s something I’ve always dreamed of” | McIntosh excited to sign first pro contract with Revs II

6_6_24 Damario McIntosh action

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – After making a number of appearances with New England Revolution II this season, Academy product Damario McIntosh has made it official and signed the first professional contract of his career with the second team. The young outside back, who qualifies as a Homegrown player for New England, was excited to be signing for the MLS Next Pro side, but saw it as only one step along the pro pathway toward reaching his goals as a soccer player.

“It’s something I’ve always dreamed of since I was a kid,” McIntosh said of turning pro. “Going to the field, kicking a ball with my dad in the backyard, and my little brothers. It’s just surreal.”

It might also seem surreal that McIntosh, at 16, can talk about his childhood as if it were entirely separate from where he is now. But perhaps he can’t be blamed for that level of delineation, either; not only does the young man naturally carry himself with confidence and maturity, but he also left his home and family in California to join the Revolution’s Academy, similarly to Esmir Bajraktarević, who has proven how effective the player development system in Foxborough can be.

“You hear Cali to New England, it’s a big, big leap,” McIntosh said. “It was a little tough at first, obviously missing family, but everyone made me feel welcome. I just knew from the moment I came, everyone here was just nice. So, yeah, it’s become home very quickly.”

But of course, McIntosh took that big leap for a reason. And he said that the support he’s felt since arriving was not limited to helping him make that transition, but also extended into all the work he’s done on the field to get to this milestone. He recognized that it was the help of his teammates that made it possible for him to take this next step.

“They’ve been really supportive, ever since I got here, from the people in the residency houses to all the guys around me, just coaching me, helping me get better, as they’re older than me,” he said. “So just giving me little tips – how can I improve this, how can I improve that – that’s helped me so far. And they’ll continue to do that.”

Maturity, humility – and, to top it all off, drive. With the ink barely dry on his contract, his sights were already set on where he wanted to go from here.

His plan is simple: “Just work, work, work.” But in the same breath, he made it clear where he hoped that work would lead. “And push to get minutes in the first team, obviously, go up there, train more. And then hopefully making my debut sometime (in the future).”

6_6_24 Damario McIntosh jersey

Whether or not he can make that dream a reality is yet to be seen, but in the meantime the young defender will be fully focused on helping Revs II get results. The team currently sits in the bottom half of the MLS Next Pro Eastern Conference, and they will be looking to stop their two-game skid when they face New York Red Bulls II this coming Friday.

McIntosh said that it felt great to get their revenge win against New York City FC II at the end of May, a comeback effort that went to a penalty shootout, but that the two losses since then had motivated the team to turn things around.

“It just felt great, coming back, getting those two goals late,” McIntosh said of the NYCFC II win. “And then getting to penalties, you know, we practice those, so we felt comfortable going into it, and we ended up coming out with two points, so it was great.”

Looking ahead to RBNY II, McIntosh added, “I think we’re feeling good going into Red Bull Friday. We had a good session today. I feel like the guys are energized, they’re hungry, because obviously the results haven’t been in our favor, so we’re just excited to get back playing again on Friday.”

He also had a few words of encouragement for the Revs’ Under-19 academy team ahead of their trip to MLS NEXT Cup in Nashville: “Win it again! Three-peat!”

Revolution II will kick off against RBNY II at 7 p.m. on Friday at Ouellette Stadium on the campus of Southern New Hampshire University, setting the stage for the first team’s faceoff with Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Gillette Stadium the following night.