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Latif Blessing's Play Doesn't Go Unnoticed
"They do go unnoticed to maybe some of the fans or what not, but we noticed them for sure in the locker room, and we’re really grateful for him stepping in and making those plays.“
Whether it be due to his small stature or his quiet demeanor, it would be easy for Latif Blessing to go unnoticed but after his New England Revolution debut, the 26-year-old deserved some attention.
Blessing got the start against the Houston Dynamo and played 85 minutes in his first match as a member of the Revolution. He had 51 touches, completed 84 percent of his passes, created two chances, and bagged an assist.
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But Blessing also wasn’t afraid to get stuck in and do the dirty work of a midfielder. He won three tackles and also won six of his 11 ground duels while also recording an interception.
More than stats and numbers, Blessing brought some energy and bite to the midfield. He makes the entire unit stronger with his effort out on the pitch.
“I’m going to bring a lot of energy to the midfield, so the midfield will be strong,” Blessing said. “I think this year that we have to do a better job. We are looking forward to the MLS Cup, so every game we have to play our best.”
Head coach and sporting director Bruce Arena thought that Blessing had an excellent performance against the Dynamo.
“There are a dozen plays he made in that game that just go unnoticed and that’s the reason we got him, for those little plays that he makes during the game that I think we miss,” Arena said. “We’ve missed in the last couple of years, actually. His quickness and anticipation in the midfield are a real positive.”
Brandon Bye also praised Blessing after the Revs 3-0 win.
“Yeah, [Latif Blessing] played a great game,” Bye said. “He does make a lot of those plays. I can tell just from him being in front of me first half, second half, jumping passes, getting in, nicking balls off guys that don’t think they have a lot of pressure on him. They do go unnoticed to maybe some of the fans or what not, but we noticed them for sure in the locker room, and we’re really grateful for him stepping in and making those plays.“
Now Blessing will turn his attention to a homecoming of sorts as New England will play LAFC next Sunday. The 26-year-old spent five years with LAFC including the club’s 2022 championship campaign.
Blessing said that he is excited to get his ring along with getting the opportunity to play his former team. It will be a major test for New England with the California club being among the favorites to win the MLS Cup.