New England Soccer Today

Dielna Dishes on Debut

Photo credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Recently-signed Revolution defender Claude Dielna said he felt good going into his MLS debut on Sunday at New York City, but when it was over, he wasn’t exactly thrilled about what unfolded around him.

Despite showing some promise in a revamped back four, the 29-year-old French international was doomed to watch his team concede a pair of unanswered goals in Sunday’s 2-1 loss at Yankee Stadium.

“I’m upset about the game, you know? For the team, for everyone it was a very bad fall for us,” Dielna told the media after the match. “We played a very good 75 minutes, but after, we needed to be (smarter), and keep going about the game because as we saw tonight, you can see what happens when you don’t stay focused on the game.”

Dielna, who donned an atypical number (44) and rocked a unique streak of blonde on his noggin, made a seamless transition in his first MLS match. He recorded two clearances and three tackles, including an impressive display of defensive prowess when he stood up Jack Harrison in a dangerous 1v1 situation in the second half.

Granted, his statline wasn’t exactly legendary status. But given the rash of uneven performances seen in the rear this season, it was certainly an outing for Dielna to build upon.

Interestingly, Revolution coach Jay Heaps said the original plan for his newest defender was to get 65 minutes on Sunday. But the French international, whose last match action came in Ligue 1 play back on May 13, shunned the suggestion, and went the distance after Dielna told Heaps he felt fine after the hour mark.

“I thought Claude was really good, he’s been training hard all week,” Heaps said. “I thought he was one of our better players tonight.”

Unfortunately for the Revolution, Dielna’s performance wasn’t enough to bottle up a City attack that came alive near the closing bell. David Villa equalized in the 75th minute, then Jonathan Lewis ripped the result away in stoppage time.

When asked about City’s goals, Dielna was in no mood to dissect the defensive lapses behind them.

“Yeah, you know, I don’t like to speak about this when I lose,” Dielna said. “I’m a winner so I don’t like to speak about that, we just lost tonight and we need to come back Monday start training, working hard, and look forward to the next game.”

It’s too early to tell whether Dielna’s minutes in the next game – at DC United on Saturday – will be closely monitored again after stretching his playing time Sunday. But Dielna doesn’t seem too concerned about the after effects following his 90-minute performance.

“My fitness is very good,” Dielna said. “I worked hard to play tonight.”

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