FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Gustavo Bou joined the New England Revolution in early July already an in-form striker, having scored seven goals in his final six appearances for Club Tijuana in Liga MX.
Thankfully for the Revolution that red-hot form has carried over into Major League Soccer, as the 29-year-old forward has registered five goals in his first seven appearances with the Revs, including a dramatic late stunner to lift New England to a 2-1 win over the Chicago Fire last weekend.
“We’re definitely happy to have him,” Carles Gil said through an interpreter. “He’s an extraordinary player. He definitely brings a different dimension to our attacking front.
“He’s scoring a lot of goals for us and giving us lots of points. Certainly if he was here since the beginning of the year, I can see him being a player that can score more than 20 goals a season, because he’s proven it over the last few games. We’re delighted to have him in the team.”
Perhaps no one is more delighted than Gil himself, who has formed an immediate relationship with the Argentine attacker. Gil has provided the primary assist on a pair of Bou’s goals, while Bou’s only assist thus far came on a goal from Gil.
Their first connection came just 45 minutes into Bou’s tenure in New England, when Gil’s driven corner to the top of the box was met by Bou’s audacious volley to open the scoring against Vancouver on July 17.
“I think good players have ways of adjusting quickly to each other,” said sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena, who called Bou a sort of hybrid No. 9 and No. 10. “I’ve seen that in the past with many teams that I’ve had. It’s pretty natural.
“Good players have a lot in common. They have similar thoughts and ideas on the game, so it makes it a lot easier when they step on the field and play together, although they haven’t been together that long.”
Bou hasn’t been in New England that long, either – less than two months – but he’s already become an integral part of the Revolution locker room and has settled into life in the United States.
That’s due, in part, to the fact that the Revolution have 12 players and several coaches who speak Spanish, which has made for a seamless transition into the squad. It’s also helped that Bou’s family was recently able to join him stateside.
“The locker room welcomed me with open arms,” Bou said via interpreter. “I think that was a key for me, getting me a lot confidence to come into a new locker room. I didn’t really know any of the players, but I’ve integrated well into the group.
“I’m also very happy now. My family is here. The first couple of weeks, I was here alone, and now that my family is here, I’m feeling a lot better now. I’m integrating better into the city. It’s a new league, a new culture, so I’m happy over the last two months.”
Bou and the Revs are hoping that happiness continues straight into a postseason run, as the Revs enter the final seven games of the season above the playoff line and with games in hand on almost every other contender in the Eastern Conference.
“We know every game from now on is going to be important,” Bou said. “We know we are ready. We’re confident. We’re not thinking seven games ahead. We’re thinking just the next game, and our mentality is to go out and win the next game.”
That next game is on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium, where the sixth-place Revs will host eighth-place Toronto FC, just one point behind them in the Eastern Conference standings (GET TICKETS).