|Photo by TEAMtalk Media|
INTEREST SHOWN BY EUROPEAN TEAMS HAS GONÇALVES THINKING
Saturday afternoon in The United States was Saturday night in Switzerland, which is where Jose Gonçalves – New England Revolution’s captain, MLS Defender of the Year, and MLS Best Eleven selectee – spoke with me from to touch basis on his thoughts and expectations about the upcoming MLS season.
However, the interview took a drastic turn after my second question was answered and things stopped looking as clear and set as I thought they were for the Revs’ plans in the near future in terms of keeping its great captain, leader and defender.
This is how my interview with Jose Gonçalves began and developed:
Jose, you are almost ready to come back to The States to join the New England Revolution. How was your holiday? How did you feel back home with your family?
It was great. I had a great time back in Switzerland, back home with my family and my close friends and I really enjoyed the break and, of course, it is very important to have a break and to make the best out of it to rest and make yourself ready, mentally and physically, for the new season.
Are you looking forward to the new season of the New England Revolution with the new additions from the SuperDraft, which happened a couple of days ago in Philadelphia? You guys re-signed a few players and got some trades from other teams. How do you feel about the new team?
There have been some changes in the club. They added some new young players… I don’t know much about them, but for sure they are very hungry for success and this is definitely a good thing.
Speaking about signings, here is where my interview with the Revs’ captain got very interesting after I asked him the following question:
There were some rumors back in The States saying that you may want to go back to Europe because, first of all, you are from Europe, you are used to playing in Europe and you love to play at that high competitive league, so some European clubs heard that and they were very interested in you.
That’s right. There is some interest and, of course, for any player in the world to play in Europe is very interesting. It is the highest league and that's why I am thinking to be back in Europe very soon.
Why and how did you start thinking about going back to Europe?
I was on loan last year. It is a difficult situation and you never know where you are going to end. That it would develop so good for me and the team and that I would feel so comfortable was not sure before last year. But my family is in Europe and I need a plan for my future life, definitely. I am also fighting for a spot in the [Portuguese] national team and that has always been my goal. After the MLS season ended last year, there have been a lot of discussions and meetings with the Revs… a lot of promises have been made, but nothing came at the end and the club also gave me the feeling that I am easy to replace, so for me it is a very simple answer and that’s it.
Could we say you are definitely leaving the New England Revolution?
I can’t tell you more about that right now. I am still under contract but the future will tell you more.
Whether it is uncertain that Gonçalves will, in fact, leave the Revolution (MLS) for Europe, what it is for sure is that it would be a big loss for a New England squad that showed significant improvement in the defense last year, which translated into the success the club saw in the 2013 season, finishing 3rd in the Eastern Conference and making it to the quarterfinals of the playoffs, where they lost to Sporting Kansas City (team that ended up winning the league’s championship).
I honestly doubt the Revs will let him go easy, because it is not necessary to be a soccer guru to know that it would be really hard for New England to replace someone with the qualities that Gonçalves possesses. He is one of the only European players, if not the only one, who has played on important world class stages, such as the UEFA Champions League, Europa League and World Cup Qualifying matches who is under the age of 30 in the MLS.
Special players like him do not come around very often. His professionalism, determination, leadership and commitment to his team, on top of all the soccer experience he acquired in Europe for a decade before coming to America and his ability to communicate in six different languages, have a price of its own.
- Y gracias por no fumar!
|Goncalves quickly became a fan favorite. Photo taken from spokeo.com|