LOS ANGELES – The New England Revolution touched down in Los Angeles, California on Wednesday afternoon as they enter the final stretch of their preseason preparations. With 18 days on the West Coast, the Revs will play five friendlies to prepare for the regular season opener on April 17 at the Chicago Fire.
Giving their legs a day of rest while they traveled, the team got right back to business on Thursday morning with their first training session in LA.
“The first day has been good,” said Tommy McNamara. “It was a little cool. A little colder than we thought it would be. Not cold, but cool.
“We got out on the training field in the morning, got the travel out of our legs a little bit, got some play, and worked off that travel day and the day off yesterday.”
“I think it took us a little bit just to get used to the weather and the field,” said DeJuan Jones. "But once we started going, guys look sharp and everyone's really excited for these preseason games. We've got five great opportunities to show what we can do and build towards the first game of the season.”
The team’s first friendly will take place on Saturday night against the LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park.
“It’s an opportunity,” said McNamara. “It’s going to be important for us to be able to show as a group that we understand our principles of play, what we want to do with and without the ball, and so it’ll be important to showcase that.”
Head coach Bruce Arena has several goals in mind as preseason continues to progress for the squad in LA.
“It’s certainly to continue to move forward in terms of players getting match fitness,” said Arena. “It’s very important we continue to work on our style of play, we have a good understanding of each other and then clearly establishing what we think will be our starting 11 or our first 15, 16 players so I think we can get that all accomplished.”
While the coaching staff looks to determine the starting lineup, players will also be working hard to showcase their abilities to earn their spot.
“Everyone is in different positions when you play these preseason games,” said Jones. “There's second team guys trying to make first team, first team guys trying make impressions on the coaching staff – so they won't really be friendlies in that this is a great opportunity to make a statement to your coaching staff. I think everyone's going to be going very hard.”
The Revs will square off against the LA Galaxy to open their preseason slate on Saturday, March 27 at 10 p.m. ET, and those in the New England region can watch it streaming live on revolutionsoccer.net.