FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – One full year after undergoing knee surgery, New England Revolution midfielder Luis Caicedo has officially rejoined his teammates on the training field. Caicedo had the meniscus in his right knee repaired last March, and after missing the entire 2020 campaign while recovering, he has been overjoyed to finally reintegrate with the squad to prepare for the 2021 campaign.
“Honestly, it was a tough year,” Caicedo said via translator. “I think the recovery was a good process. I’m happy to be with the team again. I’m getting back into it little by little.”
Caicedo became an everyday starter upon signing with the Revs three years ago on March 8, 2018, totaling 61 appearances and 56 starts in his first two seasons with the Revs. Now healthy, the 24-year-old midfielder is eager to get back to that form.
“Obviously, I’m not at 100 percent yet,” said Caicedo. “But I think it’s a matter of days and weeks before I’m able to get back to being at a good level physically and being the player I’m characterized as and known to be.
“I think the most important things for me right now are finishing the recovery, incorporating myself on the team again, being well physically, and helping the team as best I can so that we can win a championship this season.”
While Caicedo works up to full fitness, his teammates are excited to have him back with the group.
“Luis coming back is definitely a huge benefit,” said Tajon Buchanan. “He's a great player and a guy that gets stuck in challenges in the middle of the field. It's always nice to have your full roster and I'm looking forward to playing with him this year.”
Midfield is an area the Revs aimed to strengthen during the offseason. New England brought in Wilfrid Kaptoum as an international signing, and with Caicedo back in the mix along with Tommy McNamara, Matt Polster and Scott Caldwell, it’s a position that will spark competition for the starting XI.
“There’s a lot of competition there and it’s an area we need to be better in,” said head coach Bruce Arena.
Caicedo’s scrappy, physical play is a special asset that fosters a healthy competitive spirit. With only a few days back in full team training, his unique playing style has undoubtedly been noticed.
“He's super composed,” said Polster. “I kind of heard it from before and you can see in a couple of the sessions, he loves a tackle. You can see he's starting to get more comfortable as the sessions go on, which is good for us and for him. It'll be interesting to see how he progresses and hopefully he gets back to where he was prior to the injury.”
As the team continues to build their fitness in Foxborough and travels to LA for competitive friendlies prior to the season opener at the Chicago Fire on April 17, the next four weeks will be important for Caicedo to continue his progress with the squad.