FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Claude Dielna is really, really enjoying life in the United States.
That much is clear from the 29-year-old Frenchman’s social media accounts – particularly Instagram – which often highlight his daily adventures in Massachusetts and his travel around the U.S. during his first two months with the New England Revolution.
From exploring historic Harvard University, to attending a New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden, to simply driving around the neighborhoods of Boston’s suburbs, Dielna is soaking up every new experience that living Stateside has to offer.
“I like the life here,” Dielna said recently, flashing a wide grin.
Dielna’s smooth transition to life in the U.S. has been mirrored on the field, as the powerful center back stepped straight into the Revolution lineup after arriving in mid-August, starting the final 11 games of the season while endearing himself to fans with his combination of grit and leadership.
While his first half-season in MLS ended abruptly as the Revs missed out on the playoffs, Dielna is confident that his introduction to the league will offer a solid platform for him to build from heading into his first full campaign in 2018.
“Now I know the league,” Dielna said. “Next season will again be different, and hopefully we’ll make the playoffs next season.”
Those who follow Dielna on Instagram know that when he’s not exploring his new surroundings, he’s most often in the gym, including sometimes late at night after games. Dielna says that work ethic will continue into the offseason; he’ll spend some time back in France, visiting family and volunteering at a children’s hospital, but his primary focus will be on maintaining his fitness ahead of preseason.
“I prefer training on my own,” Dielna said when asked whether he’d find a team to train with this offseason. “I know it’s very difficult, but with me, I’m a soldier, so this is nothing new for me. I will be ready for next season.”
That readiness isn’t only physical, but mental, as well, as Dielna absorbs all of the lessons he’s learned from his first few months in Major League Soccer.
“I learned a lot of things,” Dielna said. “I think MLS improves every year and a lot of people will be surprised in a couple years by this level. When I speak about MLS, people think it’s easy. But when you’re here and you play, you know it’s not that easy.
“I’m very happy to be here and playing for the Revolution.”