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Curt Onalfo: "It’s Time to Get Out There and Play and Stop Talking About All The Baloney
"It’s noise. We’re going to focus on winning.”
After the departures of Bruce Arena, Shalrie Joseph, and Dave van den Bergh, interim sporting director Curt Onalfo is excited to get back to focusing on the product out on the field.
Onalfo along with club president Brian Bilello met with the media and discussed the recent changes made by the club and the state of the organization. The interim sporting director seems keen to put the events of the last month behind him when asked about WPRO’s Tom Quinlan about wanting to tell his side of the story.
“First of all, I didn’t ask to be in this position,” Onalfo said. “I was put in this position, and I embrace it. The Krafts and Brian have asked me to lead this organization through a very, very difficult time. And I have enormous experience. I’m extremely confident. I love the people in this building, I love the owners, I love our staff, and my side of the story is to make a very difficult situation into a great one. And we have that opportunity, so that’s what we’re thriving on. Can we, through all this noise – and none of us asked for this – but to drive forward and to make something out of it. That’s the message we’re telling our players. They are an incredible group of human beings. I just tell you, watch out because they are united, as we are as a staff and an organization, from ownership all the way through. It’s time to get out there and play and stop talking about all the baloney. It’s noise. We’re going to focus on winning.”
But a lot has changed in the span of a month. Bruce Arena has resigned as head coach and sporting director leaving a massive hole in New England’s coaching staff.
Even in the last few days, multiple changes have been made. Richie Williams is no longer serving as interim head coach and assistant coaches Shalrie Joseph and Dave van den Bergh departing the club.
With Williams no longer serving as interim head coach, former Revolution II head coach Clint Peay received a promotion to first team head coach. Onalfo discussed the appointment when giving an opening statement prior to the beginning of the press conference.
“As Brian mentioned, Clint Peay is now our interim head coach,” the sporting director stated. “Clint has 20 years of coaching experience, four most recently as the Revolution II head coach where he has developed some of the best young talent in the United States. He's thrived in that position. The last six weeks, he was an assistant coach during this period of time and that makes him, really, a seamless person to lead this group moving forward, and the players are really excited to play for him.”
When it came to appointing Peay and moving on from Joseph and van den Bergh, Onalfo expressed the desire for the club to have a fresh start.
“Again, sometimes when you're in these positions, you need to be very clear about what you want to do,” he said. “And sometimes, you need to make changes. With all the experience that I have doing this, it was clear to me that we had to make changes that would allow us to be the most successful version of ourselves. And that's what I did.”
While Onalfo will want to change the perception of a team that has appeared to be in turmoil for the last month it will take some time. New England will need to start winning games again and if they fail to do so, they could lose their status as a place where young players can develop and eventually move to Europe.
Still, Onalfo doesn’t believe that the events of the last month will affect the club’s ability to attract players to New England.
“Adversity is an opportunity to make the most of the situation,” the interim sporting director said. “We are making the most of our situation right now. So, to answer your question, yeah, we will continue to attract great players to this organization because we have great owners, we have an excellent president who sits right next to me, and we have great people in this building that will continue to thrive. Our focus is to get through this and focus. No more distractions. We move forward and it starts with Colorado on Saturday.”