FOXBORO, Mass. – Rookie Patrick Mullins might only be two days into his first professional preseason, but you’d never know it by the rookie’s stature.
Drafted 11th overall by the Revolution in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, the Maryland-product is getting settled in with his new teammates for his rookie season.
“It’s been a little bit of a whirlwind,” said Mullins. “I was up at the MAC Hermann [Trophy presentation], down at the combine in Florida, up to the draft, back home and now I’m here. It’s been a little crazy but this is what I’ve wanted to do all along, getting here with the team, training right away. I’m a soccer player and that’s what I love to do so I’m excited.”
The two-time Mac Hermann winner doesn’t lack any confidence, and has no reason not to after scoring 24 goals and adding 10 assists in his senior season as a Terp. The left-footer’s versatility was one of the most appealing traits for Revoltuion head coach Jay Heaps.
“What I liked about Patrick, and he did it more last year than this year but he certainly played more of a winger as well on both sides,” Heaps said. “He’s left-footed and he has the ability to get good balls in and that’s an important reason why we were aggressive in taking him, not just because he can score goals but he can create.”
New England is one of the youngest teams in the league with the average age being just a little over 25 years old, which has been helpful for Mullins and his fellow rookies adjust to their new club.
“These guys are real easy to get along with,” said Mullins. “Right when you walk in the locker room someone gets their arm around you and shows you the ropes and what you’re going. It’s been great so far getting in with the boys and I’m looking forward to getting down to Florida for a week or so to get to know them better.”
They have already started the bonding process as second-year defender Andrew Farrell said he had Mullins and a group of other guys over to his place to help them acclimated.
“Just to have fun, it’s a long preseason,” said Farrell on what he advice he’s given to the rookies. “Jump in and have fun and enjoy it. It’s a great experience, I had a lot of fun during my preseason. I had those guys over and we played some ping pong and FIFA the other night and just get them acclimated to the whole thing.”
Mullins said it was Farrell that quickly befriended him but joked that the defender did not take it easy on him on the ping pong table but did offer advice.
“Just go out and enjoy and work hard everyday,” Mullins said of what Farrell offered. “As a pro, you just want to come out and get better everyday and that’s been my philosophy as a player since I’ve been playing throughout college. I think that’s something that gains the respect of teammates and coaches, just coming out and putting your best effort in everyday.
There hasn’t been much time to evaluate the rookies in just two short sessions of practice that hasn’t included much soccer playing, but with 47 goals and 25 in his four years at College Park, Heaps is hoping that can translate over to his play in MLS.
“It is really early and we haven’t really started to do too much playing but Patrick is a player I’ve seen quite a bit over the last few years,” he said. “He’s someone I think right away it’s going to be can he take what he did in college and bring it to the big game here in MLS. I think he shows he’s got really good keen scoring opportunities and he creates a lot of opportunities and I just want him to be able to translate that to MLS.”
For Mullins, his expectations for this season are pretty simple.
“Contribute to the team,” the rookie said. “However I can, wherever that is and make sure I do that to the best of my ability.”