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Scenes from Friday's Revs practice
The Blazing Musket traveled to Foxboro on Friday to get you information, quotes, and more.
On Friday, The Blazing Musket attended the New England Revolution’s training session. Below are some notes from our trip.
Arrivals and Injuries
Carles Gil was an active participant in practice after missing time to obtain his green card. Nacho Gil is also in the United States and traveled to Florida with the Revs. Gustavo Bou is expected to link up with the club in the Sunshine State once he receives his green card.
The players were participating in a scrimmage while TBM was at practice. Tommy McNamara, Henry Kessler, Jozy Altidore, and Matt Polster weren’t taking part, though they were all recently practicing.
TBM spoke to Polster, who said he was feeling “good” and that he was taking a “maintenance day” because “it’s been a tough preseason.” Altidore was sidelined due to a head collision. When asked about Altidore, head coach Bruce Arena said, “To date, he’s had a good preseason.”
Changes to the Medical Staff
Joshua Williams will serve as the head athletic trainer after the departure of Eric Bengtson. Williams joined the Revs in 2022 after nearly three years with Minnesota United FC.
James Collins is now the Director of Sports Performance, a position once held by Jarryd Phillips. Collins has been with the Revs since 2020, first serving as the head performance coach. He was previously with Minnesota United as an assistant strength and conditioning coach.
The Kids were Looking Good
One thing I noticed on Friday was that the young players were fitting in, especially Esmir Bajraktarevic and Jack Panayotou. Bajraktarevic spent time during the off-season training with AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands while Panayotou has returned to his hometown team after a standout season at Georgetown University.
When asked to highlight players who are looking good right now, Polster spoke about the youngsters. He told The Blazing Musket, “I think all the young kids have come in really sharp. I think Esmir, Noel [Buck], and Jack have come in pretty sharp. Hopefully, we can rely on them at certain points in the season.”
Giacamo Vrioni Gets his Reps in
The majority of Revs players exited the field after a spirited training session. Vrioni, however, spent some extra time working with goalkeeping coach Kevin Hitchcock. The Designated Player was focused on his first touch as he took shots on Campuzano.
Earlier this month, The Blazing Musket spoke to Andrew Farrell about Vrioni. The full article is coming later this week, but here’s a snippet:
“Giacomo being fully healthy and hungry to prove, I guess, the haters and doubters wrong,” Farrell said when giving reasons why 2023 will be different from 2022. “It takes time sometimes for players acquired to come and get used to living in a new country and sometimes a new language. It happened with Adam [Buksa]. It took him a little bit to get going.”
Revolution social media manager Willy Whitelaw noted that Buksa also used to spend time with Hitchcock after practice.
Polster getting into Twitch
While soccer is obviously the primary focus for Revs players, they do have free time. Recently, Polster has been on Twitch playing games like Call of Duty with the likes of Farrell and Teal Bunbury.
For Polster, it’s just something fun to do while he’s away from the field.
“I’ve loved video games my whole life,” Polster said. “At this point, I was like, I may as well just stream while I’m doing it and interact with fans or just random people that like games as much as I do. It’s something I’ve always been passionate about outside of soccer. That’s about it. Just golf, gaming, and soccer are my three things.”