FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The local kid is staying local.
Chris Tierney, whose contract was set to expire at the end of the 2016 season, has signed a new deal with the New England Revolution that will keep him with his boyhood club for the foreseeable future.
“I’m very happy that I was able to sort out a deal that made sense for both sides,” Tierney said. “I’ve always said I love being a Revolution player and this is a place that I want to be.”
Tierney last re-upped with the Revolution midway through the 2013 season, and the club picked up the final option on that deal ahead of the 2016 campaign.
At 29 years old and entering his ninth season in the league, Tierney – who played a part in last year’s CBA negotiations as one of the Revolution’s representatives in the MLS Players Union – would’ve been eligible for free agency next offseason had he played out his previous contract.
But the Wellesley native who grew up watching the Revolution at the old Foxboro Stadium spurned that opportunity for the chance to stick with the only professional club he’s ever known.
“My first priority with my career is to play for the New England Revolution,” Tierney said. “This is the team I grew up supporting. It’s the team that I want to play for. It’s the only club I can see myself playing for.
“I’m just really happy that I had the opportunity to stay with New England, because it’s undoubtedly where I want to be.”
Now considered one of the top left backs in MLS, Tierney’s path from hopeful rookie to locker room leader and MLS All-Star has been paved by hard work; he’s the only player from the 2008 Supplemental Draft still playing in the league.
But not only did Tierney carve out a place in MLS, he’s also carved out a place in the Revolution history books. He enters 2016 in the top five all-time in games played (186) and minutes played (15,080) for the club, alongside names like Shalrie Joseph, Matt Reis, Jay Heaps and Steve Ralston.
“That’s never a thought that crossed my mind and one that still doesn’t,” Tierney said when asked about his place in Revolution history. “I take things one day at a time.
“When I first joined the team, it was about first of all making the team. Then it was about trying to get into the 18, and then it was about trying to get into a regular-season game. It sort of progressed from there.”
It’s a progression that continues; Tierney logged career highs in appearances (31), starts (29), minutes played (2,613) and assists (six) in 2015.
“I continue to work hard,” he said. “I’m not ready to do it yet, but one day I’ll look back over the time I’ve spent here and be amazed with how long this run’s been.”
Tierney turns 30 in just a few short weeks and with a new deal in tow, it’s looking increasingly likely that the onetime Revolution fan could spend his entire professional career with his boyhood club; a rarity in today’s pro sports landscape.
But for now, Tierney’s focused on the next five weeks as he continues his offseason preparations. Then he’ll shift his focus to the 2016 preseason, and then to the impending regular season.
“My goals remain short term,” Tierney said. “If I end up playing for New England for my whole career, that would be the cherry on top.”