FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – It’s only been a few days since the New England Revolution assembled in Foxborough to begin 2020 preparations, but veteran defender Andrew Farrell said the start of this preseason camp is different than any he experienced in his first seven years in MLS.
“It’s one of the best preseasons I’ve been a part of so far, and it’s only been four or five days,” Farrell said on Thursday afternoon. “It’s been a really, really sharp first (few) days. It’s probably the sharpest I’ve seen a team – at least that I’ve been on – through this preseason.”
Farrell credits this year’s fast start to last year’s second-half turnaround, as the Revs were one of the league’s hottest teams from Bruce Arena’s arrival in mid-May through the end of the campaign. Although it’s been three months since New England’s season ended in Atlanta, there’s a sense that this team picked up right where it left off in 2019, even with seven new faces in the mix for 2020.
“I think we’re trying to keep that momentum carrying on through,” said Farrell. “There hasn’t been a drop of level – the level has stayed high, especially with the new guys coming in, the new signings.
“When you’re around somebody, or something, or a group of people that have that high energy, everybody’s happy to be here, everybody’s happy to put in the work. It’s very contagious. The coaching staff has that, the players have that, the front office staff has that – so that buzz is just carrying over from last year. When you’re around that, it’s hard not to just jump on it.”
That buzz has been palpable through the first week of camp, sparked in equal parts by last year’s success, Arena’s presence, several new signings, and the opening of a brand new $35 million training center. The resulting energy has provided the foundation for a strong start to preseason prep.
Farrell and his 18 returning teammates have felt the carryover from 2019, but that energy has been just as prevalent for new arrivals like Seth Sinovic, who returned to New England as a free agent this offseason after spending the past nine years with Sporting Kansas City.
“It’s been a really fun group to work with,” said Sinovic. “I was in Kansas City for nine years and got to know a lot of people over there, so there’s a little bit of that nervous energy going to a different club or a new club with a lot of new people, but the vibe has been unbelievable.
“Everybody’s excited to come in every day, everybody’s excited to get to work, and I think that speaks to where the club is right now, not only from the facility, but as a team. I think everybody’s feeling confident going into the year.”