Traustason settling fast as he joins “most welcoming dressing room” of his career

Arnór Traustason training (2021)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The past month has been a bit of a labyrinth for Arnór Traustason as he has navigated his way from officially signing with the New England Revolution on March 16 to joining his new teammates on the training ground for the first time earlier this week.

Just days after signing Traustason joined up with the Iceland National Team for a trio of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers – all on the road in Germany, Armenia, and Liechtenstein – before returning to Iceland to complete the process of obtaining his U.S. P-1 visa. Upon completion of that paperwork the 27-year-old traveled to Foxborough, where he was required to complete a weeklong quarantine process, training individually to keep himself fit and ready for the day he could finally train with the squad.

That day arrived on Monday as Traustason joined full training in anticipation of a potential debut in Saturday night’s home opener against D.C. United (8 p.m. ET, myTV38, myRITV).

“It’s been amazing, really,” Traustason said while addressing local media for the first time on Tuesday afternoon. “I’m just getting myself better into the team and getting fit into the team and the way of playing. So yes, those two training sessions have been good and it’s been positive. It’s just onwards and upwards from here.”

“Honestly, I view him well,” Gustavo Bou said of his first impression of Traustason. “He’s excited. I think he’ll help the team a lot. Hopefully he adapts to the system that our coaches want quickly. Hopefully we can help him so that he can help the team.”

Fitness isn’t a concern for Traustason, who played a total of 165 minutes (two starts, one substitute appearance) with Iceland in late March, so his main priority is integrating himself into the squad and the system as quickly as possible ahead of Saturday’s meeting with D.C.

“I got a bit of training with the national team. Of course, you don’t train as much as you’d like with the national team, but you get some training and get some match fitness with the national team,” Traustason said. “And then I trained a bit myself when I was waiting on the visa and everything to get here, so I’m getting there. I will say I will be ready to play.

“I haven’t played any games yet and only one full-team training so I will get to see [the system]. But I’ve looked at some games in the preseason and they look good. It’s a good tempo so just keeping up the tempo will be good.”

Traustason reiterated that he’s capable of playing on the right wing or centrally, but that he believes his strongest position is cutting in from the left, and that conversations with head coach Bruce Arena have indicated that’s where he’ll be deployed with the Revs. The process of forming on-field relationships with the likes of Bou, Adam Buksa, Carles Gil, and others will unfold as the weeks progress.

Meanwhile the process of forming off-field relationships is already well underway, as Traustason – who has previously played with six other professional clubs – said the reputation of New England’s tight-knit locker room has been readily apparent to the newcomer.

“I think it’s the most welcoming dressing room I have ever been in,” said Traustason. “It’s really nice, a nice bunch of guys, and they’ve all welcomed me with open arms, really. If there are any problems, it’s fixed, and any questions I have, it’s answered. It’s the most welcoming one I’ve ever been in and it’s really nice to get on.”