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Young players acclimate in early camp

Posted by Julian Cardillo  January 26, 2014 03:54 PM

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FOXBORO, Mass.- Second-year right back Andrew Farrell is excited that the 2014 MLS season is fast-approaching.

"I'm glad to be back," he said on Sunday morning at the Revolution's second preseason practice in the Dana Farber Field House.

"It's like the first day of school, without school."

And Farrell is one of the teachers. In addition to getting himself back into shape ahead of the regular season kick-off on March 8, Farrell has been looking out for the Revolution's fresh rookie talent.

"Farrell definitely was one to come up to me pretty quickly," said forward Patrick Mullins, who the Revolution drafted with the 11th overall pick out of Maryland.

"[He's told me] to go out and enjoy and work hard every day. As a pro you just want to come out and get better every day...that's something that gains respect from coaches and your teammates is just coming out and putting in your best effort every day."

Farrell is a suitable role model. After getting drafted first in 2013, he went on to play in all but two regular season games and contribute to one of the league's best defenses. What's more, Farrell is one of 13 players under 25 on the Revolution's roster. That he and others have had such success as young players in MLS is proof to the rookie class that they can make an impact, too.

"When you walk in you feel an excitement to it," continued Mullins. "It's a youthfulness in the air. It makes it really easy to come in and feel like your one of the guys from the start. Me and the other rookies, we've come in, and they've accepted us pretty quickly."

Off to Bradenton

The Revolution will train in Bradenton, Fla. next week until Feb. 7. On Jan. 31, they will take on reigning Swedish champions Malmo FF in a preseason friendly.

Preseason is a time to regain fitness and acclimate to new teammates and tactics. It's also a chance for the Revolution to experiment with both signed and un-signed players.

"It's very important for us to accomplish things tactically and physically so we're matching those two things together along with the development of our younger players into what we're trying to do," said Head Coach Jay Heaps.

The Revolution have rotated different players into different formations in past preseasons. When asked about the Revolution's formation in 2014, Heaps said that while the on-field structure is subject to change, the style of play will stay the same.

Examining the Camp Invitees

Only two of the Revolution's draft picks are unsigned trialists: Alec Sundley and Pierre Omanga. Sundley is a midfielder while Omanga is a power forward.

The two othe trialists are Marko Perovic and Evan Melo. Perovic, 30, is a Serbian player who can play as either a midfielder or forward. He played for the Revolution from 2010 to 2011 and has additional experience with Red Star Belgrade, FC Basel, and Persepolis.

He is a sharp-shooting striker and can deliver dangerous set pieces.

Melo, 20, is a striker from Congo who last played for FC Sion. He joined the Revolution on trial last summer, but the opportunity to sign him never arose.

Heaps said the Revolution will continue to look for other players to strengthen the team as preseason progresses.

"We're always trying to get better," said Heaps. "We have a list of players we're in conversations with. There's dialogue further along but at this point it's still dialogue. And until those things start to further matriculate, we don't want to talk about them too much."

If you want to reach Julian email him at julianccardillo@gmail.com and follow him on twitter @juliancardillo

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About Corner Kicks: Julian Cardillo offers insight and analysis about the New England Revolution as well as European and international soccer.

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