FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The 2013 MLS SuperDraft won’t take place for another four weeks, but that didn’t stop the New England Revolution from adding one of the nation’s top college prospects on Friday morning.
Akron midfielder Scott Caldwell officially joins the Revolution as the club’s second-ever Homegrown player, having captained New England’s Under-18 squad in its first-ever campaign in 2008-09. Caldwell went on to become a two-year captain at national powerhouse Akron and was a semifinalist for the prestigious Hermann Trophy in his senior season after registering a career-high nine goals and team-leading 10 assists.
“When you look at Scott, he’s not a physically imposing player,” General Manager Michael Burns said of the 5-foot-8, 150-pound Caldwell. “But technically he’s very good. He has a very good soccer brain and he’s just one of those players who, just when you think it might be a little bit beyond a level for him, he finds a way – because he has a soccer brain and he has a great mentality – to bring his game to the next level.”
The Revs are confident Caldwell will rise to the occasion once again as he transitions to the professional level, particularly because there’s evidence to support that assertion. During summer breaks at Akron, Caldwell enjoyed extensive training stints with the Revolution’s first team and never looked out of place alongside the pros.
While Caldwell’s performances on the training ground assured the Revolution’s technical staff he could succeed in MLS, those experiences were also beneficial for the player on a variety of levels. Unlike any rookies selected in the SuperDraft or Supplemental Draft, Caldwell will enter preseason camp already familiar with his surroundings.
“Scott’s going to have a leg up on every other player that we draft in that regard,” said Burns. “Knowing exactly what he’s coming into from the locker room, to the staff, to the coaches, to the players, to where the practice field is; all those things matter.
“Generally speaking, usually in that scenario when players are that familiar, they tend to play a little bit better and they’re a little bit more at ease because all the surroundings are familiar. We hope and think that’s going to be the case with Scott.”
Tracking Caldwell closely during his time in the Revolution’s Academy and throughout his standout four-year career at Akron has given the Revs a chance to analyze not only the player, but also the person. In both regards, New England is excited to watch Caldwell’s continued development in a Revolution jersey.
“He’s a tremendous kid and fit in well with the players in the locker room and with the coaching staff,” said Burns. “He’s someone who we’re very glad we can add to the first team and he can begin his professional career here. We think he has a very bright future.”