The Revolution have scored 18 goals this season, equal to their total after 11 games last year, when they went on to establish record-setting numbers. And sporting director/head coach Bruce Arena plans to make the offense even more dynamic with the addition of Colombian winger Dylan Borrero.
Borrero, 20, a $4.5 million transfer from Atletico Mineiro in Brazil, joined the Revolution last week and will be available for their visit to FC Cincinnati Saturday. The Revolution are also hoping for the return of forward Gustavo Bou (leg), who has been out since early March.
“From the moment I knew I was coming here, I talked with Bou,” Borrero said in a Zoom call Tuesday. “We’ve talked a lot about the team’s style of play and his style of play, and he’s helped me learn a lot about things here.
“I think it’s a team where I’ll be able to show my style of soccer. I think I’ll have more opportunities to play here, with a little more freedom in the sense of playing my style. I’m very happy to be a part of this great team.”
But attacking has been less a problem than defending for the Revolution (3-5-3, 12 points), and Borrero said his two-way play improved in Brazil.
“I think I can switch from attack to defense very quickly,” Borrero said. “The conditions in Brazil are incredible in the coaching, tactics, and physically. I think those experiences will help me a lot here.”
The Revolution have been seeking a replacement for Tajon Buchanan ($7 million transfer to Club Brugge in Belgium), whose emergence on the right wing kicked the attack into another gear last season. The right-footed Borrero has been effective using his elusiveness and speed to cut inside from the left wing.
Right-footers Sebastian Lletget, who joined the Revolution this year, and holdovers Damian Rivera and Arnor Traustason also prefer the left wing.
“I feel comfortable on the left wing,” Borrero said. “[Revolution coaches] have spoken to me about playing that position and I think that’s where I’ll be most comfortable.”
Borrero has known about the Revolution since left back Christian Mafla played for the team last season. Borrero, Mafla, and former Revolution defender Carlos Llamosa all were born in Palmira, Valle del Cauca.
“When I learned that the team was looking at bringing me here, I was happy,” Borrero said. “The first thing I saw in the offer was the opportunity to play my style of soccer and play a longer season. That’s what made me want to come here.”
Last season, Borrero helped Atletico Mineiro win the Brazilian championship for the first time since 1971, teaming with veterans such as Diego Costa, Diego Godin, and Hulk. Borrero also excelled on Colombia’s junior national teams, scoring against Brazil in the 2019 South American U-17 tournament.
After Borrero’s transfer was announced nearly two weeks ago, he had to await visa clearance in Brazil.
“The days were very long; I was getting anxious,” Borrero said. “But they were important days to understand more about the club. Now that I have arrived, I can say that I am very happy to be here and I will work hard to do my best.”
Borrero traveled with the Revolution to Atlanta for a 2-2 tie last Sunday but was not included on the bench.
“They told me [MLS] is a league that’s growing,” Borrero said. “They’re bringing in a lot of good players. My first impressions of the team are that it’s a great group that’s always happy, and when there’s happiness, the team enjoys training.
“My first training session with the team was today. I felt comfortable with the team and I think we’ll have a great season.
“The first thing is to become accustomed to the team and the style of play the coaches want. Learn the styles of play of opposing teams, learn to play at the level of intensity here. I think the intensity is very important; the rest will come after that.”