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Wright Makes Strong First Impression:

January 31, 2017 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - New England Revolution News Release


CASA GRANDE, Ariz. - It didn't take long for Brian Wright to make an impact in his preseason debut.The rookie forward - selected 20th overall in this month's SuperDraft - started the New England Revolution's preseason opener against Minnesota United on Tuesday morning and drew a penalty in just the 12th minute, baiting his defender into lunging with a clever shift inside the box.

Minnesota goalkeeper John Alvbage made a stunning stop on Teal Bunbury's attempt from the spot, but Wright's influence was nevertheless notable in what eventually finished as a 1-1 draw.

"I thought we were all over them at the beginning," said Wright, who played the opening 45 minutes. "They had some chances, but I thought it was a pretty even game in the first half."

While Wright's ability going forward is unquestioned - he registered 39 goals and 25 assists at the University of Vermont - it's his understanding of New England's defensive system that will likely prove one of the biggest adjustments at the professional level.

Heaps noted that Wright's defensive responsibilities were minimized in college, where he played as a lone striker, but that won't be the case in New England's high-pressure, two-forward system.

"I think he's doing a lot more work defensively than he's probably had to in the past being more of a lone striker," Heaps said. "We're playing with two strikers right now, really making those guys work.

"I think that's step one: realizing that it's going to be a longer process in terms of getting himself to another level of fitness."

Wright noted fitness and speed of play when discussing the biggest adjustments during his first week in professional camp, but he's already taken on a veteran tone with regards to health and recovery.

"The biggest part of the adjustment was the speed, in terms of the game just moving faster," Wright said. "But preseason is still preseason; doing the double sessions, legs are tired, soreness, just making sure you're taking care of your body and getting your rest when you need it.

"Getting that first week out of the way felt pretty good. I'll just look to keep going forward."

And if Wright had a positive impression of his first week with the Revs, so did Heaps.

"He's someone that we've really liked so far this early into camp," Heaps said.


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