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Pierre Cayet on MLS Aspirations: "I Really Do Think I Deserve It"
One of the original Revs II players reflected on his career with the club and what's next for him.
Pierre Cayet has been a pillar of Revs II ever since its inception but the defender is no longer a member of the second team.
Cayet has played in over 70 games for the second team. The Angers SCO youth product tallied six goals and two assists in over 6,000 minutes played for the second team.
When the roster decisions came out, fans were a bit surprised that the 24-year-old defender was not returning but there was no ill will or dramatic choice made behind the scenes.
In an exclusive interview with The Blazing Musket, Cayet explained that the decision was mutual.
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“It was a common decision that we agreed upon last year,” Cayet said. “I agreed on signing another contract this year but I told Curt right away and he told me as well that for the best of both of us, it would be best at the end of the season if I don’t make it to the first team for some reason it would be better to part ways just because I arrive at a point in my career where like I’m 24, I’ve done everything I had to do in this league and when you see that the league is getting younger and younger every year, I think it’s time for me to move on.
“So when he told me that there was no international roster spot available for me at the moment, no matter how good I did, it was best for me to move on,” the defender concluded.
In MLS, each team can utilize eight international roster spots (which can be traded).
As Cayet said — it didn’t matter how well he performed — due to roster rules he couldn’t be elevated to the first team. This was especially the case seeing as Cayet played every minute this season for Revs II and had what he described as the best season of his career.
“I think personally this year I had my best year this year,” he stated. “Not only as a leader but just really on the pitch. Everything I was able to do, assists, goals, and just being able to be successful. Lots of lots of wins, lots of positive moments that I think as a team was really great.
“It’s not even me trying to pretend like I deserve to be somewhere I don’t, I really do think I deserve it,” the defender later said when asked if he deserved to be called up to the MLS roster. “I really do think that all the coaches that have coached me along the years know that I’m there. Even the front office told me I was in a position that I should be playing [in] MLS right now. Things don’t just happen because I play good. There’s also a lot more to take into account. So being an international is a major one and it’s also about timing. It’s also about personal and everything. So it just didn’t happen because a couple of things don’t align for me but do I think I deserve to be in MLS right now? 100 percent.”
Toward the end of the MLS NEXT Pro season, Revs II had to adjust. With the Bruce Arena situation unfolding with the first team, Revs II head coach Clint Peay and assistant coach Marcelo Santos eventually were elevated to the first team staff.
For a brief period, Santos was head coach while Peay was an assistant on the first team staff but once the second team head coach was named interim head coach for the first team, Santos joined Peay’s MLS staff.
According to Cayet, these transitions weren’t too difficult.
“Obviously it wasn’t something that we planned,” the defender said. “Things happen because of what is going on in the first team was going through. When Clint went up we ended up having Marcelo. I think this transition was just because Marcelo was an assistant coach for the past couple of seasons. He knew all the players, he knew everything. He has a great tactical mindset so it was really seamless. It was really nice, easy, and everybody bought into it. Thena couple of weeks later, once again Marcelo got elevated as well so Rob jumped in the leadership when it comes to being a head coach in our team. I think he did a great job as well because it wasn’t as easy as possible.”
Along with coaches, Revs II missed some crucial players in that Eastern Conference Final. The most notable was Jacob Jackson who would start against Nashville SC in a match on the same day as the conference final. Jack Panayotou was also being used by the first team on that fateful day.
Cayet didn’t want to use this as an excuse for Revs II season coming to a premature end.
“Of course it was difficult,” the 24-year-old said. “It’s not something we plan on doing but at the end of the day, it was all on us. It was like ‘Are we willing to forget everything that’s happening and just go out there and perform and play soccer?’ We are the players that play and our coaches play an important role but at the end of the day having good leaders like myself and Jake [Rozhansky] really helped that team to keep pushing no matter what so I think it was not as hard as it might seem.”
The leadership of Cayet was a trait that plenty of his teammates recognized.
“He’s awesome,” Jackson said. “His tenacity is unbelievable. He works hard, he’s a great leader. Even when I come down there, he would push me, he would demand a lot from me. Me and him would definitely butt heads at times and I think that was because he was pushing me to be better than I could have been and it showed.”
19-year-old goalkeeper Max Weinstein also learned a lot from Cayet even though at the beginning he thought the defender was kind of a jerk.
“Pierre is such a good leader," Weinstein said, “When I first got here, I kind of went from coaching myself, training with myself, and playing high school and playing club, which is not a bad thing whatsoever but I just wasn’t used to the new level yet, to that professional standard. I think when I got here, Pierre holds everyone to the highest standard. In the beginning I kind of thought that he was a jerk or a mean guy. I took what he was saying and it really kind of frustrated me but I mean it’s unbelievable the standard he holds everyone to and even in the games too.”
But now Cayet has to ponder his future. He believes that the MLS is an ideal destination but is also open to playing in the USL.
“At the moment, very much still in the conversation of you know talking to teams and having my agent reach out to a couple of clubs,” the defender stated, “Obviously the MLS would be ideal but is it likely because of my status? That’s another question but my main attraction right now will be to play in the United States so you know MLS, USL ideally.”
While Cayet wishes that he was able to bring a championship to Revs II, he has no regrets and is grateful for deciding to come to New England and his time with the club. He has improved as a player on and off the field and will be better prepared for his next opportunity. What more could you ask for as a player?