Watson’s transition to Revs simple because “everybody’s on the same mission”

Je-Vaughn Watson vs. Toronto FC

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – No matter the setting, no matter the stakes, Je-Vaughn Watson’s attitude remains the same: he just wants to play soccer.

“I like to play. Whenever there’s a game, I’m always up for it,” Watson said on Wednesday morning after the New England Revolution wrapped up a midweek training session. “To represent the Revs in any game, whether it’s an MLS game, or Open Cup, or a practice game, I’m always up for the challenge. I’m always going to give my all.”

That’s why it was so difficult for Watson to sit and watch the Revolution’s 1-0 win over the New York Red Bulls on April 1 as he served a one-game suspension, particularly after he’d also missed New England’s previous match, a 1-1 draw with New York City FC, while on international duty with Jamaica.

But Watson was finally back in the mix last weekend, going the full 90 minutes and delivering a pinpoint cross to set up Kelyn Rowe’s goal in a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC. Although the result left a bitter taste in his mouth, Watson was thrilled simply to be back on the field.

“It was good,” he said. “I served the suspension, came back, and we got a point even though we didn’t like it. We’re still trying to climb the table because it’s early on in the season.”

Watson has proven to be a key piece of the Revolution’s lineup through his first month with the club. A brief preseason trial led to a trade with FC Dallas, and the versatile 32-year-old was officially acquired by New England just two days before the season opener in Houston.

The timing of the move meant Watson had to adapt on the fly, but he says it’s been an easy transition into a welcoming locker room and a group of players who’ve treated him like family from the very start.

“It wasn’t hard for me to settle because everybody’s on the same mission of trying to get a trophy,” Watson said. “I’m a guy that likes to smile, I like to be happy and I like to be comfortable, and as soon as I walk into the locker room, that says it all.

“If you’re going through something and you want to relax yourself, just come into the locker room. I guarantee you’re going to be feeling happy after.”

Watson’s comfort in the locker room has translated to his performances on the field, as he’s been quality on both sides of the ball while holding down the right back spot for New England. He’ll be expected to continue in that role when the Revs visit Orlando City SC on Sunday afternoon (3:30 p.m. on ESPN).

After last week’s frustrating draw with TFC, Watson has only one result in mind at the Citrus Bowl.

“We know Orlando’s a good team,” he said. “We need to start getting points on the board because it was a home game (against TFC) and we dropped two points, so we have to go on the road and try to get back two points.”