FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – It’s been almost three months since the New England Revolution’s last match – a 1-1 draw with Chicago Fire FC on March 7 – but this week both the club and Major League Soccer took a pair of significant steps towards a return to action.
First was Wednesday’s announcement that MLS and the MLS Players Association had completed a new collective bargaining agreement, which will run through 2025 and includes plans on a return to play.
Just 24 hours later the league made more progress towards that return to play, announcing that the full team training moratorium in place since March 12 had been lifted, paving the way for clubs to begin submitting plans to return to full training.
“Guys are very excited to be back on the field – having the excitement of playing the game that we love, getting back out there together, and just looking forward to playing some soccer games again,” said Scott Caldwell. “I’m really proud of how the guys stood together throughout the league, and now we’re moving forward and looking ahead.”
As they push towards a return to full team training – “We’re hopeful next week,” sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena told NESN’s Tom Caron on NESN After Dark – players are currently taking part in small group training, which allows for passing between teammates in a limited capacity.
New England began small group training on Thursday after two weeks of voluntary individual workouts.
“I think it gives the coaches a little bit of a challenge to put together different training sessions for individual workouts and small group training,” said Caldwell. “For us, it’s great work to get some individual skill work in and raise our fitness levels over the course of a few weeks, and to be ready to be back to full team training sometime soon.”
The coming weeks will offer the chance for steady progression as the Revs aim to regain their fitness and sharpness, with their eyes set firmly on a return to game action this summer.
“We are very happy,” captain Carles Gil said via translator. “These unusual situations can take a very long time to work out, but we just have to comply with the rules, which made it complicated.
“Little by little we are seeing the light, and now we’re ready for what’s to come.”