MLS New England Revolution

Arena says Traustason was on Revs’ radar late in 2020

Revolution sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena noted Wednesday that the club’s interest in Icelandic international Arnór Traustason started late in the 2020 season.

“We identified him in probably late November-December,” Arena told the Boston soccer press corps Wednesday morning. “We were looking at a number of wide players and in the end, we had a couple of players in Spain as well as Arnór. Obviously, we talked to people in those countries and those clubs, but we look at the video more than anything and make assessments. In my opinion, Arnór was by far the best choice out of all of them.”

He said that as Traustason, who signed a two-year deal with the Revolution on Tuesday, was still under contract with Swedish top flight champions Malmö FF, there was a bit of negotiation involved.

“We had work with Arnór to make sure his interest was right, so that took a little bit of time. Malmo wasn’t willing to let the player go until they were able to bring in some new players in their roster, and then in late February they were able to do that, so that made it a lot easier for us to finalize the deal,” Arena said.

“We think he’s going to be a good player for us, complement our roster. He can play in the wide positions where we think we can use some help. He’s experienced both at the international and club levels, and we get him at a good age. He is, I think, a good fit for this team in New England, so we’re excited about having him and hopefully we can get him in over the next couple of weeks.”

Arena noted that Traustason is expected to be called into the Iceland national team at the end of this month, and that the team is “still not certain at this point in time when he’ll be with us.”