FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Newly arrived Revolution forward Björn Runström hasn't played a first-team match in several months, but he said the time off won't keep him from making his debut if and when New England coach Jay Heaps calls upon him.
Runström linked up with his new teammates this week after receiving all of the paperwork required to complete his free transfer move from Swedish second-division side Hammarby IF.
Although he hasn't seen the field in a competitive match recently, Runström said he has done his best to maintain his fitness levels ahead of his move to MLS.
“I've been trying to keep fit,” Runström told MLSsoccer.com. “I haven't just been lying on the couch and eating chips and all of that. I think I'm good. I just need a little bit of training and a little bit of sharpness. I think it can go quickly, so I'm not worried about my fitness level.”
He may have to fret a bit more over his path into the starting XI. Ryan Guy and Saër Sène have started the past two games up front, while José Moreno's encouraging debut as a substitute in last Thursday's 1-0 defeat at FC Dallas likely paved the way for further playing time in the near future.
Runström understands that he will have to work diligently to carve out a place in the side, but he said the overall depth at the position will ultimately make the club better.
“I just want to get going and get my fitness up,” Runström said. “Competition just makes you better and it makes the team better. It's just a positive thing, I guess.”
Heaps wary of improving United
D.C. United enter Saturday's matinee at Gillette Stadium (4 pm ET, watch LIVE online) with plenty of encouraging signs from their current three-match unbeaten run.
A series of improved performances – particularly the 4-1 home victory over FC Dallas on March 30 – laid the groundwork for that uptick in form. Heaps noted that United – a side that has lost its past five meetings with the Revolution – will pose plenty of problems for the Revs.
“I think they've played their last two games well at home,” Heaps said. “They're starting to hit their stride a little bit. It's going to be important for us to handle their key players. Nick DeLeon and [Dwayne] De Rosario are starting to hit their stride. We have to be smart and defend what they do well and then we have to make sure we play our game.”