For Bobby Wood, the 2023 MLS season could be one that shapes the rest of his career.
The striker recently completed a transfer to the New England Revolution following a relatively unremarkable spell with Real Salt Lake. At 30 years old and with his Bundesliga and USMNT days long behind him, Wood knows he has to get this move right if he’s to enjoy a strong final chapter in his career.
“I’m just excited to show the Revs that I’m still the player I am and just help the team as much as possible,” Wood told reporters at his first press conferences as a Revs player.
Luckily for Wood, he’ll have the help of a familiar face in Boston: Bruce Arena, the coach he played six times under during their crossover with the USMNT.
“I think [Arena] is a player’s coach. From my experience, he’s always been very honest,” Wood said of Arena. “I’m not saying everything was perfect, but he’s always been very straightforward with me. As a coach, that’s one of my most important things. I just want him to be straightforward and he’s always been that with me. Because of that, I have huge respect [for Arena]. It’s exciting to work with someone who’s just a player’s coach. I think it’s going to be easy to work with him.”
Having just walked through the door and with the 2023 season still months away, Wood hasn’t been burdened with a huge workload or instructions just yet. However, he’s very clear when it comes to the expectations Arena will have of him.
“Nothing crazy. He just told me he wants me to come in, work hard, get fit, help the team, and that’s what I’m here to do,” Wood said. “There will be a fair chance that if I do my thing, I’ll give him a headache of picking the [starting] lineup. That’s the goal of any player.
“Like I said, I just want to come in and help the team. I think I’ll be a great pickup for them. I’ll just come in and work hard, really. It’s very simple. I’m just excited to meet the guys and do my thing.”
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