FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – When rumors began circulating back in mid-January that the New England Revolution were interested in Icelandic winger Arnór Ingvi Traustason, enthusiastic supporters immediately began expressing their excitement on social media, tagging the player in the process.
Although a deal wasn’t officially announced until Tuesday morning, Traustason kept track of those social media posts for the better part of two months, and he took notice of how eager Revolution fans were to see him join up with the MLS side.
“I’ve been following on social media, being tagged on Twitter and being tagged on Instagram and so on, so it’s really nice to see,” Traustason said in an exclusive interview with the club. “’I’ve been talking to my wife about it. It’s something – I’m being wanted here, so it’s written in the sky that it just has to happen. I did everything I could to join the Revs.”
Likewise, New England did everything they could to bring the FIFA World Cup veteran to Foxborough, selling him on the team’s championship-caliber potential, an opportunity to live in the New England region, and the chance to join an up-and-coming league while in the prime of his career.
Taking all factors into consideration Traustason called the decision to join New England “a no brainer,” adding that he’s excited to begin “a new adventure” and tackle “new challenges” as he takes his professional career outside Europe following spells in Iceland, Austria, Norway, Greece, and Sweden.
“I’ve been watching the league from a distance for a couple of years, and it’s been growing and growing,” Traustason said. “Since a couple years back, I’ve been wanting to join MLS at some point, and when this opportunity came up, it was almost a no brainer. The league is getting better every year, players from all over the world are joining, and I want to be a part of that. So it was almost a no brainer. I just wanted to sign.
“It was just Boston and the team and how they played last season. It was fascinating to see. They came all the way to the conference final. I’m still learning there’s two conferences. And they sold me [on] the idea, as well, when I had a chat with them, that the next step is to take it all the way.”
The hope is that Traustason will be a significant piece of the puzzle as the Revs aim to take that next step, turning potential into trophies. Sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena addressed several areas of need early in the offseason, adding a box-to-box central midfielder in Wilfrid Kaptoum, a left back in Christian Mafla, and veteran MLS steel in A.J. DeLaGarza and Ema Boateng. But another creative attacking piece, especially one who thrives on the left side, was still on the wish list.
“I can play everywhere in the midfield, [but] my strongest side is coming in from the left and using my right foot to find players and their runs, or even taking a shot,” Traustason said. “Coming in from the left is my strongest position.”
Traustason’s skillset is suited to provide the perfect complement to the Revolution’s trio of attacking DPs in Adam Buksa, Gustavo Bou, and Carles Gil, who tends to float from the right wing inside onto his left foot. The prospect of that quartet operating together has Revolution fans foaming at the mouth, and Traustason is eager to begin forming bonds with his new teammates as soon as possible.
direct deposit: $1400— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) March 16, 2021
Bruce Arena: Bring me Arnór Ingvi Traustason pic.twitter.com/J2B39OWNlK
Exactly when Traustason will arrive remains to be seen, as he’s currently awaiting his P1-Visa before he can travel to the U.S. and join up with the Revs for preseason training. But in speaking with Traustason, one thing is clear – the moment that visa arrives will be the moment he’s on his way.
“As soon as the visa goes through, I’m on the next plane,” said Traustason, who inked a two-year deal with New England that also includes a club option for a third year. “It’s a waiting game now just to wait for everything to get settled in, then I’m off to go and I’ll join the guys.”
Oddly enough it won’t be the first time that Traustason has been involved in a Revolution preseason, as he watched from the sidelines as his former club Malmö FF played against the Revs on a 2018 trip to Bradenton, Fla. He also remembers “quick and explosive” Emmanuel Boateng, once an opponent in Sweden and now his teammate with the Revolution.
Those connections support the notion that Traustason’s move to New England was “written in the sky,” as he said, and as the 27-year-old arrives with a wealth of experience at both the club and international levels, his objective is to help usher in unprecedented success for the Revolution, as well.
“I’m coming into the team with quite an experience from Europe, and from the World Cup, and Euros, so I will take everything I have and try to get it into the team – even though we have very experienced players in the team, as well, right now, that have been through everything,” said Traustason. “But I will take all of my experience into the team and try to do my utmost best to get it all the way this year.”