BRADENTON, Fla. – The New England Revolution’s new coaching staff came into the year with a clean slate approach, ready to challenge players by testing both their physical fitness and technical skills.
As preseason progresses, head coach Brad Friedel has noticed those who not only have the talent and work ethic, but also those who can be all-around leaders. One of the players stepping up to the plate in that department has been Claude Dielna.
“When a new staff comes in, we get to see who we feel have the leadership qualities within the group,” said Friedel. “Claude is definitely one of those players who has not only the experience, but the leadership qualities, and he’s a very, very good player.”
Dielna joined the Revs in July of last year and now begins his second season in New England and his first full campaign with the club.
“Now I know the team, I know the country,” said Dielna. “It’s easier for me and I’m excited to start the new season.”
Dielna has worked diligently throughout preseason, and the New England coaching staff has noticed his all-encompassing abilities. In the Revs’ first two preseason matches against the New York Red Bulls and Malmo FF, he started and wore the captain’s armband.
“First, it’s an honor for me to have the confidence of the coach,” explained Dielna. “But I will try to bring what I learned last season ¾ my experience, my mentality ¾ to the team.”
However, Dielna understands that his leadership responsibilities are two-fold; they require him to bring a presence both on the field and in the locker room.
“On the field it’s simple; it’s to be the best and for the team, give everything,” said Dielna. “I know I have a lot of responsibility so I need to be a model for a team. I speak about the mentality first because it’s very important. Keep a good mindset for the team.”
“We’ll see how things transpire,” said Friedel. “But we’re happy with what we’ve seen from him.”