Bobby Wood "Happy to Contribute" in New England Revolution Home Debut
"I’m glad I got the score. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the field, so I’m just happy about that.”
Bobby Wood was just happy to be on the field for the New England Revolution after a difficult 2022 season. The fact that he was able to find the back of the net was just a cherry on top of an impressive home debut for the veteran striker.
Wood’s 2022 season ended early after he needed surgery to repair an injured abductor. It was another road bump for the striker after an abrupt end to his time playing in Germany.
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The striker said that it was good to get his first goal early on in 2023 after a difficult 2022 campaign.
“Yeah. It was a different football but I’m happy I got to contribute,” Wood said. “I think I'm a striker that does more than just scoring goals and I like to help the team as much as I can off-ball. I’m glad I got the score. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the field, so I’m just happy about that.”
The 30-year-old did a lot more than just finding the back of the net. He finished his 69-minute shift with 18 touches while also creating two chances.
What can’t be seen on the stat sheet was his high energy which was evident in his ability to press his opponents and force mistakes. While not as flashy as finding the back of the net, Wood’s work helped create chances for New England.
The 30-year-old first got on to the scoresheet with a beautiful backheel flick that would find Dylan Borrero who slotted home a goal to give New England a 1-0 lead. It was a crucial goal just before the half that gave the Revolution the momentum entering the break.
“I saw the first post was open, I tried to make a run, it came a little bit behind me,” Wood said of the play. “I thought it just went through but then I turned around and we scored so I was happy.”
Borrero had high praise for Wood in the locker room after the win. The 21-year-old was impressed by the veteran’s movement.
“His movement is excellent,” Borrero said. “That’s very important for us. It helps us out a lot. He moves well. He understands how to move on the field and what that does is it opens up a lot of space for guys like myself, Carles Gil, and the wingers and that’s very important for us.”
DeJuan Jones has also been impressed by Wood. The left back connected with the striker for the second goal of the game with Jones sending a beautiful cross Wood’s way.
“He’s super experienced,” Jones said of Wood. “I have had some conversations with him just trying to pick his brain a little bit. He had all that time in Germany so he’s obviously an intelligent player. He makes great runs. He communicates to the front line guys on when to press and when to stay back so I think he’s a great addition to our team and happy for him to get on the scoring tally so early in the season.”
The striker position seems to be quite deep at the moment. Giacomo Vrioni — a Designated Player — came off the bench for New England on Saturday and continued to struggle (albeit he didn’t have a lot of time to make a difference coming on in the 69th minute). Gustavo Bou will also have a full week of practice under his belt after this week and will be nearing a return to the matchday squad and eventually the starting XI. Jozy Altidore and Justin Rennicks will also be competing for minutes off the bench.
If Wood continues to score goals and make an impact as he did against the Dynamo, it will be hard for Arena to keep him out of the starting XI. While it would be difficult to have a DP striker on the bench, Wood might force the head coach’s hand.
I am thrilled with the start to the season, we all know it's a long season especially with the other tournaments mixed in. Having some depth is a good problem to have! To think that Bou, Farrell, McNamara, and other haven't been available and we also have a very strong and deep academy team with Revs II this team is set up for success now and into the future. We will likely set a new transfer record in the next 12 months when we sell Petro and others in the next handful of windows.
Hopefully this lights a fire under Vrioni’s butt. I thought GV did well in defending and had a couple of occasions where he was strong in possession- but by then the game had opened up and Houston was really pressing. Also worth noting that Bruce subbed in Rennicks as well later maybe in an effort to give Vrioni some support and move to a traditional 4-4-2.