FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Luis Caicedo landed in New England just one week ago, but the 21-year-old midfielder has already made a strong impression on head coach Brad Friedel and his New England Revolution teammates.
“Really bubbly character, Luis,” Friedel said of the charismatic Colombian. “He’s full of energy, and a very impactful player. I know he’s not tall in stature, but he’s very strong, very good on the ball, and he’s integrated himself very nicely from second one.”
That integration is aided by a cadre of Spanish-speaking teammates – fellow Colombian Juan Agudelo, Diego Fagundez, Andrew Farrell, Cristian Penilla and Nico Samayoa, among others, including coaches – but Caicedo also began studying English even before arriving Stateside last week.
Those efforts have been appreciated by his teammates, who’ve welcomed the diminutive (5-foot-7) but gritty central midfielder with open arms.
“He’s a great kid,” goalkeeper Matt Turner said of Caicedo. “He wants to learn English, which is nice. On the field, he’s a technically gifted player. As he gets more comfortable with the guys around him, I’m sure he’ll start to shine.”
Caicedo settled quickly enough to earn a spot in the Revolution’s 18-man match-day squad for last weekend’s 2-2 draw with New York City FC, making a brief cameo off the bench in the dying stages despite having just two training sessions under his belt with his new squad.
The appearance was officially logged as a two-minute MLS debut, but after a full week of training in Foxborough, Caicedo may well have a bigger role to play on Saturday night when the Revs visit the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium (8:30 p.m. ET, myTV38, 98.5 The Sports Hub HD2).
“He’s a great guy, a great player on the field,” Farrell said of his newest teammate. “The few training (sessions) we’ve had, he’s done really well. Excited to see him, excited for his debut last week, and (looking forward to) seeing more playing time from him the next time.”