Rightback Chris Cadden is one of several newcomers to the 2020 Crew squad, as the native Scot made his official introduction to his new teammates and coaching staff following a recent stint at Oxford United FC of England's League One.
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"It's good, I'm enjoying it. All the boys seem good," Cadden said on the initial days of preseason training with his new club. "There are a few new boys as well, so just getting to know the boys. My accent is a bit stronger than I realized so I need to tone down the accent, people can’t understand me (laughs), but no, it’s been good. I’m enjoying it."
Prior to Oxford, Cadden spent 2013 to 2019 in Scotland's topflight, making over 100 appearances for his hometown club, Motherwell FC, in the Scottish Premiership.
"We talked about the sort of style and how he wants to play and it all seems to suit me and my strengths," Cadden said. "So I’m looking forward to it and [Caleb] plays the way I like to play which is good."
Prior to making the trek to California, Cadden had the opportunity to see Columbus for the first time with fellow Scot and Director of Scouting Neil McGuinness.
Cadden used "cold" to describe his first impression of the city -- it is January in Ohio, after all -- but he also spoke on the roster and the welcoming he has received with warmer terms.
"I spoke to a few of the Scottish boys who are out here (in MLS) and they say it’s good, and lots of the boys here (in Columbus) are great and chat about the good team mentality here and that’s what you want," Cadden said.
"Everybody has been so great and I feel like I’ve been here for a lot longer and I haven’t been here a week. All the boys have been great, just trying to meet me and get to know me and get to know the boys. It’s been good, they’ve been so welcoming."
It has only been two weeks since Cadden moved on from Oxford, so the fitness aspect isn't as much as a hurdle at this point in preseason as getting used to "the Gaffer's" style, he said.
"Just getting to know the way the boys played and what everybody’s strengths and weaknesses are and also tactically, the way the Gaffer wants to play and getting to know that and also getting the fitness in," he said.
"I haven’t had too long, I’ve been off for about two weeks or so, so fitness-wise I feel good. It’s probably just more of the technical and tactical side of how the boys play."
Cadden's first chance to play for his new club comes Friday, Jan. 24, as the Crew prepares for an abbreviated scrimmage versus USL League Two-side Ventura County Fusion.