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Revolution Preseason Update
The New England Revolution have already completed the first part of their international preseason, finishing off a week in Bermuda with 3 wins in 3 days. They are back in Foxboro for a week before heading off to Ecuador for two weeks. Once again this year the Revs opted to not go to Florida to face other MLS teams. Revs Technical Director Joe Cummings explained the Revs preseason plans and other happenings.

“We felt wanted,” Cummings explained their choice of Bermuda and Ecuador as preseason locations. “We looked at a number of different possible countries that we could’ve visited and we’ve got two really good financial deals and soccer deals. Part of preseason is trying to make sure that you get good playing situations, first of all good fields, secondly good competition and third is to make sure that it makes sense from a business standpoint. Financially you can pay a lot of money to go places and if you can’t get the first two things, good fields and good games, it doesn’t make any sense. We have got a real good opportunity in Bermuda. We are staying at a great facility, the field is nearby and we are playing the national team and a couple of real good club teams. In Ecuador we have got four fantastic matches in three different stadiums, so we are going to see parts of the country and have a great time playing the games. We are taking 20 [players] to Bermuda and 25 to Ecuador. The additions in Ecuador hopefully will include the recent signing, the Brazilian, Cassio. We are still finishing up his visa paper work, so he’ll join us in Ecuador. So we will have a larger squad to take to Ecuador, which is better because we are playing more games. We are only in Bermuda a week, but in Ecuador we are playing two games in two days, then have a week to train, then two games in two days again, so we need a bigger squad.” Cummings said as far as not going to Florida the team had their reasons. “Primarily you see them, even the teams in the western conference, you just see them so much during the season that you really don’t want to start off the year feeling like you’re going to play some of these teams six times and it’s just an approach that [Head Coach] Steve [Nicol] likes to take. We kind of like to stay within our own team and do our own thing and not have to see these teams until we really start to play them during the season. Some of these teams that have played each other already are going to have played these teams now maybe six times during the course of the year. Then if they have two games where they face them in a playoff… Now you can say that the teams you are playing in February and March do not look anything like the teams that you’re playing in April and that’s true, but it’s still playing against the same teams over and over and over again. We try and not do that.”

The Revs main concern at this point is bringing in a defender. “We have a couple of players that could come in, not to the Bermuda section of it, but to the Ecuador section of it that we might be looking at and [defense] is really still the one position left,” Cummings said. “Otherwise I think we have the answers that we feel we needed from the players we drafted and from the players we are taking a look at from our signings standpoint.” With plenty of new rookies as added depth in defense, veteran Carlos Llamosa, who was out all of last year with a knee injury, may take a leadership role. “He’s come back very well,” Cummings said of Llamosa’s return from injury. “We are actually very pleased. We were not really sure last year when the surgery was performed that he would be back even for the first game and he came right back into preseason and continued to show us that he had done the work in the offseason. So we are very, very pleased. His fitness is where it should be. It’s equal to a lot of folks that are on the team right now at this point in the preseason.” Cummings believes Llamosa taking on a leadership role could be very important. “As we look back on last year I think that’s one of the things that we really, really lacked. We really don’t have that leader that does it with a fiery mentality. I mean even our captains. Joe Franchino does it through example. Steve Ralston the assistant captain does it by example. Carlos was one of those calming influences in the locker room and on the field. I think that we really missed it with some of the younger players; we really missed it with Cancela because it was very hard from a communications standpoint. So I think we see real value in having Carlos back on the field and in the locker room.”
March 06, 2005 Sean Donahue


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