Leading both on the field and off, Jose Goncalves embraces his role as captain

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – After a nomadic few weeks, the captain’s armband may have finally found a home.

Three different players have served as captain through the New England Revolution’s first 11 games. Clyde Simms wore the armband for the first five games before exiting the lineup, followed by Chris Tierney for two games until he was forced to miss the trip to Portland because of suspension.

At that point the armband was handed to Jose Goncalves, who has continued in the role of captain even since both Simms and Tierney have returned to the field.

“We have a lot of veteran players and he’s a leader within that group,” head coach Jay Heaps said of Goncalves. “We ask our guys to come out and train every day, work hard and take care of their bodies … When in all of those components the same guy keeps coming out as one of the hardest workers, one of the leaders, one of the guys who’s commanding respect just from his presence, you start to see guys listen and follow.”

Although Goncalves only joined the Revolution this season, the 27-year-old veteran of the Swiss, German and Scottish leagues has been a powerful presence since his arrival. The central defender has been a vocal leader along the backline as he’s helped guide New England to one of the league’s best defensive records, but his influence has been just as valuable in the locker room, where he serves as a steadying presence.

For his part, Goncalves takes the role of captain very seriously and understands wearing the armband carries a sense of accountability. The position doesn’t only pertain to games, but also training sessions, film sessions and any other time he’s interacting with the team.

“It’s a huge responsibility,” he said. “You need to show people that you have a good attitude and you must work hard. Every day is a new day. You must have the same level. You cannot drop one day and the next day be better. As the captain, I know that it’s a huge responsibility and I’m really happy to take this responsibility.”

Of course, Goncalves knows that leading the team is not a task he carries alone. The Revs have a wealth of experienced veterans who serve as leaders and mentors, even if they’re not wearing the armband.

“Everyone can be a leader and everyone has a different type of leadership,” said Goncalves. “You must take this leadership. Everyone has this leadership in themselves.”