Ema Boateng "Always Wanted to Come Back" to the Revs
Boateng: “Since 2021 when I signed here, I get along well with my teammates, I know the system we want to play, and it’s been great playing here the last two years, so I always wanted to come back.”
Ema Boateng had conversations with “a few other teams” during his brief spell as a free agent, but he ultimately decided to re-sign with the New England Revolution, which is the place he “always wanted to be.”
Boateng came to the Revolution in 2021, reuniting with Bruce Arena. The speedy winger established himself as an effective offensive weapon as he collected four goals and seven assists in 39 MLS appearances.
Boateng’s option wasn’t pick up at the end of the 2022 season. In Oct. 2022, Arena explained, “[Boateng]’s option number is higher than we’d be willing to pay at the moment, but I told Ema, he’s a free agent and I think he should explore free agency.”
Boateng reemerged in New England as a preseason trialist, which led to him signing a one-year contract with an additional one-year club option. Boateng will occupy a supplemental roster slot.
“Since 2021 when I signed here, I get along well with my teammates, I know the system we want to play, and it’s been great playing here the last two years, so I always wanted to come back,” Boateng told media on Tuesday.
Boateng feels comfortable in New England. He knows the people, the system, and area. The 29-year-old said that by staying with a club, “you don’t have to go to a new place and learn [the system], go find a new apartment. It takes about four to six months before you really get acclimated so it’s great to be back in a familiar setting.”
Staying in New England also means that he will continue to play for Arena. The two previously worked together at the L.A. Galaxy before reuniting on the opposite coast.
Boateng explained that he has utmost respect for the winningest coach in MLS history.
“I just know what he [Bruce Arena] expects,” Boateng said. “He wants everyone to work hard, and if you work hard, he will give you what you deserve. He’s a guy that motivates the group, he knows the league better than any coach in the league, and he knows how to take advantage of our opponents in games.
“So, when it comes to preparation and just getting the team together, I don’t think there’s anyone better than him in the league.”
While most things will stay the same for Boateng, he will don a new number. The former number 11 will now wear the number 18. The switch happened because Dylan Borrero “jumped on 11 as soon as last season ended.”
Boateng admitted that wearing a new number is “a little weird,” but he’s fine with it, especially since Borrero is “enjoying it.”
With a contract signed and a jersey number selected, Boateng is now focused on doing everything he can to help the Revs win trophies. In 2021, the Ghanian was part of the team that won the Supporters’ Shield by setting a new single-season points record.
While it’s too early to predict if similar success will occur in 2023, Boateng and the rest of the Revs are ready to put in the work.
“I think last year we didn’t do our best and it’s upon us to try to figure out how to get back on top,” Boateng said. “It’s not going to come easy. It’s not just assembling the roster; we have to put in the work day-in-and-day-out and we have competition at a lot of positions.
“So, everybody will be bringing it week-in-and-week-out, and we’re going to help each other with that process, then when we get to games, we’ve got to take advantage of our chances, be solid defensively, and just game-by-game.”