Portuguese International Jose Goncalves was one of the Revolution’s bigger offseason signings last winter, but no one could have predicted how big an impact he’d have on the squad this season. Not only has he played every minute of every game, but he’s become one of the best center backs in MLS, all while captaining the club to the verge of a postseason berth.
Brian O’Connell: After Saturday’s game, a side of you that many of us aren’t used to seeing emerged as Saer Sene held court with the media. As Saer was speaking, you snuck into the media scrum and then proceeded to interview him, using a shampoo bottle as a makeshift voice recorder. How important is it to keep things light at this time of the season?
Jose Goncalves: It’s very important that there is time where we need to concentrate on the field, but off the field, it’s important that we keep doing this kind of stuff, you know? So I think for the group, for the team’s spirits, it’s very important to keep it going.
O’Connell: What gave you the idea? I saw you over at your locker as we were interviewing Saer, and I saw you with a smile on your face, as if something was going on.
Goncalves: Yeah, I like to play jokes, and I did so with Saer because we understand each other well, on and off the field, and just wanted to see how concentrated he was doing the interview. So for me, it was very attractive situation to try to mess up the interview a little (laughs).
O’Connell: Were you surprised how focused he was? Because he didn’t even bat an eye. He just kept going as you were interviewing him with that shampoo bottle.
Goncalves: Yeah (laughs), I think he was very focused. I have a lot of respect for him because I think I gave him a lot of credit for scoring the goal, and I told him that’s how he scored – with the same concentration.
O’Connell: Switching gears a little bit – tell me about your leadership role this season. This was your first year here, not only with a new club, but in a new country. In light of that, how much of a challenge was it for you this season to be given the captain’s armband?
Goncalves: It was a big challenge. For me, it was very important to shoulder the responsibility because I like to take responsibility. I think the team has been great, the coaching staff and the players, they all made everything easier. So, of course, as a leader, I was just trying to do my best for the team on and off the field because it’s very important that I keep doing that (and) because there are young players who need leadership and as a model (of that), I try to do my best. So hopefully, I can keep going like that and do the best that I can.
O’Connell: What have you enjoyed the most about living in Boston?
Goncalves: I think the city is great. It’s a little bit like Europe. It’s very clean and safe. For myself, I really like downtown and the whole city. It’s a nice city, the people are very respectful and I didn’t expect that because when you come from Europe to the USA, you think about New York and Los Angeles and other big cities, but Boston was exactly what I needed. There are a lot of advantages to living in Boston, and I like it here.
O’Connell: Do you want to stay here for another year?
Goncalves: Of course, I want to stay, but I don’t know what’s going to happen with those decisions. But there is no doubt that I’m very satisfied, and my family is very satisfied also, and everything is going well. I want to be here next year with the club.
O’Connell: Has your agent spoken to the organization about staying for another year?
Goncalves: I have no idea about the (status of the) negotiations (regarding the loan agreement). I just try to stay concentrated on football, and what happens behind me, or will happen, I will know at the end of the season. From now until the end of the season, though, I just stay concentrated on the game and whatever will happen, it will happen when the time comes.