New England Soccer Today

Fan Favorite Returns to Foxboro

Photo credit: Adam Sell

Photo credit: Adam Sell

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Joe-Max Moore wasn’t on the Revolution’s First Kick roster back in 1996, but that didn’t deter him from becoming one of the original fan favorites.

Prior to Saturday’s Revolution-Whitecaps match, the former Revolution striker – who retired in 2004 with a then-club record 41 career goals – returned to Foxborough to see many of the same faces that cheered him from the stands of Foxboro Stadium during those halcyon days.

“I love it here, it’s my second home,” Moore said during a halftime meeting with the media. “I was here for six years in total, and I love it. I love everything about the city, the Revolution as an organization, and the ownership. It’s just a great place to be. Best sports town I know, for sure.”

Moore originally joined the Revolution midway through the 1996 season, and eventually went on to score a team-high 11 goals in only 14 games during a largely disappointing inaugural campaign. Scoring, of course, was only part of the reason why the fans adored the Tulsa, Oklahoma native.

Though he was never the biggest player on the pitch, the 5-9, 150lbs. forward played with an engine that never quit, which only endeared himself even more to the Revolution’s supporters during those halcyon days.

While Moore, who was elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2013, made plenty of memories at the now-demolished Foxboro Stadium during his Revolution and U.S. career, he believes that the club would stand to benefit from moving out of Gillette Stadium and into a soccer specific stadium.

“I think the atmosphere for the supporters and the players is really important,” Moore said. “I think it gets a whole lot better when it’s a smaller stadium, and I think it’ll be a huge difference for everybody once they get that built here in the next few years.”

In recent months, a couple of different sites in Greater Boston have been discussed for a potential stadium, and Moore said that it’s important for the team to get it right. And if they do, he believes that the Revolution could enjoy the same kind of fervent home support seen in Seattle, Portland and Kansas City.

“I think if it’s put in the right location, and you have a good product that the people of the city can be proud of,” Moore said, “then I think it’ll definitely create that type of atmosphere.”

Since calling it a career 11 years ago, Moore has gone the entrepreneurial route by investing in a variety of business endeavors. But he admits that he’s kept a pulse on how MLS has grown since the early days – growth that he could easily gauge while making rounds among fans in the Gillette Stadium parking lot ahead of Saturday’s match.

“I had a great time with the supporters’ clubs out there before the game, and that’s something that’s totally changing and different,” Moore said. “The support now, I think, as far as the fans coming out before the games – it’s really neat to see. This sport’s growing in a big way, and I’m looking forward to the day that we get our own soccer specific stadium in Boston.”

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