Any fresh start needs a fresh outlook and way of thinking.
For sports franchises that notion generally means fresh faces in the locker room.
But it’s rare when those sentiments -- especially from the player’s perspective -- is mutual.
Bone, who the Union acquired in the first round of the MLS’ Re-Entry Draft, arrived after spending three seasons with the Chicago Fire. But inconsistency with his playing time and ultimately spending much of his days playing with the Fire’s reserves began to frustrate the playmaking midfielder. Obvious, considering during his college days at Wake Forest, Bone led the nation in assists (17) one season and was selected as the National Player of the Year by Top Drawer Magazine.
For Bone, getting out of "a rut” is his game plan as he looks to become a significant member of a club out to make major headway in returning to the class of MLS’ Eastern Conference this season.
“I think sometimes when you get stuck in a rut, or the same system or the same situation that you are in – you get content and comfortable,” Bone told philadelphiaunion.com. “To get in a new environment, around new players, it helps with [building] confidence. It gives you a fresh start. It helps to come out and bring it everyday because you have to prove yourself in front of new faces everywhere, instead of at the same club with the same guys who know you.”
The transition has been made smoother for Bone, who said he knows a lot of players on this Union roster. Additionally, Bone has worked with Union manager John Hackworth in the past and it’s that comfort level under a new regime and familiar faces that has made the move to Philadelphia a positive.
“It’s exciting, you know,” said Bone. “Obviously to leave Chicago was tough, but I am super excited about a new opportunity with a good club. A lot of the guys I am familiar with here have made it pretty easy, and as far as the transition – so far so good. It’s been fun. I feel rejuvenated really, which is nice. I’m ready to get back to it and to start producing for a team like I always knew I could.”
Bone’s intangibles are aplenty -- and evident. He has quick feet, good vision, smart passing that makes him another weapon that could provide a unique look in Hackworth’s arsenal. Couple that with Bone’s relative ease in the center of the park and his distribution and you have a player that has the potential to bring a great deal to a new corps.
Ask him and Bone will tell you he has bought in to the club’s desire to make 2014 a trip to the postseason or bust.
“Yeah, of course…that’s the goal… to make it to playoffs and beyond,” said Bone. “To do that with Philly would be great. I know this club just missed the playoffs in the last few seasons and I would be happy to contribute and kind of be that push to help the Union get into the playoffs. I’m here to do whatever the team needs.
“It’s exciting that there’s a goal to reach. Hopefully we can reach that goal as a team and I can contribute to it.”
What do you think of Bone’s arrival? Leave a comment below.
Contact Union digital editor Kerith Gabriel at firstname.lastname@example.org