FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution players have officially returned, back in action and ready for preseason.
The start of the 2018 season brings exciting change for the Revs, in the new era of head coach Brad Friedel. With coaching staff changes, the state of affairs from past seasons is shaken into a fresh start for everyone. This means as players return to Gillette Stadium this week to kick off preseason, stepping onto the training field has a new importance.
“Every player is going to come in on a level playing field,” said Friedel. “It doesn’t matter how old you are, how experienced you are, or what your last name is; everyone’s going to get a fair chance to play.”
The sense of enthusiasm putting on gear and stepping on the field for the first time this year was evident, but with Friedel’s clean slate mentality, it brings a sense of healthy competition amongst players to earn their spot on the roster.
“Everyone has to get a good preseason in, otherwise you’ll be on the outside looking in on the field,” said midfielder Scott Caldwell. “And so everyone knows how much they have to push and what they have to do.”
Not only have there been changes to the Revs coaching staff, but they also have a freshly updated locker room and fitness facility that follows suit. The Revs have increased the dining room and lounge area to make it more spacious for the players, while the fitness facilities have been significantly expanded, as well.
The locker room itself has been painted with a crisp white with hints of blue in the background. The wall wrap closest to the door reads “Revolution” boldly in blue, featuring all of the Season Member names in white within the lettering to remind the players why they play as they exit onto the field.
“We can make everything look really, really nice and neat if we want,” said Friedel. “But it’s really the players and how they adapt to things and how they take on all the new concepts. All the early signs are very, very positive.”
The Revs will train in Foxborough through Thursday, and travel to Bradenton, Fla., for preseason the following day. The first preseason match will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 31, when the Revs will start off their two-week stint in the Sunshine State against one of their East Coast rivals, the New York Red Bulls.
The Revs will return to Foxborough briefly in mid-February, and will head to Tucson, Ariz., for the Mobile Mini Sun Cup on Sunday, Feb. 11.