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Bruce Arena Slightly Surprised by Noel Buck's Hot Start
The 17-year-old has been a fixture in the starting XI in 2023.
Noel Buck has started in all five games for the New England Revolution this season and scored the game-winning goal for New England in its most recent win over D.C. United. Not even Bruce Arena saw that coming.
“No, I think he [Noel Buck] is a little bit ahead of schedule for sure,” Arena said on Thursday. “He's done a real good job.”
The 17-year-old has been a strong presence in the midfield. He hasn’t been afraid to get stuck in and has shown some impressive passing skills. Scoring goals is also a bonus.
Arena believes that Buck has done nothing to warrant taking him out of the starting XI.
“Well, there's nothing that's keeping him [Buck] off,” Arena said in response to a question from Rich Thompson of the Boston Herald. “He's playing a good solid game for each and every game. He hasn't played 90 minutes in every game, but he's been good, very reliable defensively. But he's been good in possession. He's helped us create some chances in the attack. He's been pretty well rounded in this game.”
With his impressive play comes national and even international attention. Buck has been praised by MLS talking heads and is even getting linked to English Premier League clubs.
Tom Bogert reported that clubs in England are interested in the youngster.
While clubs are interested, Buck believes he has a long way to go in order to achieve his dreams of playing overseas.
“I do have dual-citizenship [in the United States and the United Kingdom], so it wouldn’t be a problem for me immigration-wise to go over there,” the midfielder said. “I would love to play there at some point in my life, it’s been my dream since I was very young. I think I still have a lot of work to do. I don’t think I am anywhere near that right now. I’m still growing and learning, and it just takes time for me to really get up to that level.”
Buck’s honesty is just another characteristic that shows he is wise beyond his years. To admit that he still has to improve his game and needs time to develop isn’t something that you normally see.
Usually, players would jump at any chance to go play in England or the other high-profile European leagues. They rush to get overseas and it ends up stunting their career.
But Buck realizes that the timing needs to be right. The midfielder wants to improve his game before looking to make an impact over in Europe. He doesn’t want to just sit on the bench, he wants to get minutes.
With how impressive Buck has been to start the season, the fact that Buck says he has a lot of work to do should get Revolution fans excited. If he keeps getting better, he has the potential to be one of the more important pieces on New England’s roster.