FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Bruce Arena is confident that the New England Revolution’s offseason additions – which include two international signings, three free agent additions, two SuperDraft selections, and perhaps one more signing on the way – will make the Revs a better team in 2021.
It’s not just those new faces that will bolster the squad this season, however, but also a familiar one, as central midfielder Luis Caicedo returns to the mix after missing the entire 2020 campaign.
Caicedo underwent surgery to repair the meniscus in his right knee last March, sending him to the season-ending injury list and an anticipated nine-month recovery. The 24-year-old made steady progress throughout the year and returned to training as the Revs made their playoff run this past November.
Now more than 10 months past the operation, Caicedo is expected to be a full participant when the Revolution kick off their preseason preparations in the coming weeks.
“We think he’s going to be at 100 percent, or close to it, when he returns,” Arena said of Caicedo.
Prior to his injury Caicedo was a staple in the Revolution’s lineup in 2018 and 2019, appearing in 61 of the club’s 68 regular-season games and starting 56. He started 17 of 19 games after Arena took over midway through the 2019 season, earning the trust of his new sporting director and head coach.
While the Revs have made several recent additions in central midfield – bringing aboard Wilfrid Kaptoum, Matt Polster, and Tommy McNamara since last July – Arena said the return of Caicedo will provide New England something of a different element as they set their sights on trophies in 2021.
“He has some unique qualities that we missed in the midfield at that particular position,” said Arena. “He’s a ball winner, he has pace, and he gives us a little bit of bite in the center of midfield. I think those qualities will complement the players that play ahead of him.”