FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Ten days since leaving The Bubble at the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, goalkeeper Matt Turner and his New England Revolution teammates are adjusting to their new routine at the club’s Training Center in Foxborough, having resumed training earlier this week.
After spending 25 days at the host hotel at Walt Disney World Resort and playing four games in a 17-day stretch, the players were given a full week to recover upon their return home. That offered them a chance to spend time with the family and friends they’d been separated from for the better part of a month.
“We played a lot of games in a short period of time (in Florida), so it was good for the guys to be able to get back, get to see our families, our friends, and really relax and re-assimilate to society, which was a bit more challenging than I think a lot of us realized it was going to be,” Turner said with a laugh ahead of Wednesday’s double session. “It’s good to be back.”
New England’s focus now shifts to what remains of the regular season, and while details have yet to be finalized, the Revs are preparing for a condensed schedule that will likely feature several games in a short time frame – not dissimilar to what they encountered in Orlando.
That means the Revs will need to be ready both physically and mentally for a gauntlet of games, and after getting an abbreviated taste of action at the MLS is Back Tournament, the players are confident they’ll be more than up for the challenge.
“We’re ready to play as fast as possible,” said Kelyn Rowe, who started all four games in Florida. “You could see in Orlando that we were excited to play. We can’t wait to get back because obviously not winning against Philly (in the Round of 16) is not what we wanted. We want to make sure we can get back and get as many points towards the season as we can.”
New England secured five points towards the regular season in Orlando – going 1-0-2 in the group stage – and their defense was one of the stingiest in the tournament, conceding just two goals in four games. Of the teams who have played five regular-season matches, the Revs (four goals against) are tied for the league’s third-best defensive record.
But the Revs also scored just twice at the MLS is Back Tournament, and as they spend the coming weeks preparing for their return to play, they’ll be focusing heavily on finding that finishing touch.
“I think it’s just about getting numbers in front of the goal and creating the best chances possible,” said Rowe. “I thought we did very well in Orlando, but we maybe missed the final pass or missed the final touch on goal. We’ve been working on correct runs in the box, putting in good service, and finding the back of the net.”