By Levan Reid

FOXBORO (CBS) – It was a gorgeous day to be outside and even better to cover the New England Revolution for the first time ‘in-person’ at their new $35 million practice facility behind Gillette Stadium.

Everyone was excited to get back to in-person interviews, socially distanced of course.

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“It feels good,” said Revs forward Teal Bunbury. “I think everyone’s talking about getting back to that somewhat normalcy, you know. I think it’s good. I think that things are possibly getting a little bit better.”

Last season the Revs made a surprising run to the Eastern Conference Finals. Now Coach Bruce Arena says – the bar has been set.

“The players are very excited to get back. Usually with professional teams they come back, they’re dragging a little bit, they’re not real pleased about getting into preseason training, which is difficult. But our guys came back with a lot of enthusiasm. They’ve put in a great effort to date.”

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There are a lot of team goals for the New England Revolution, stay poised, get those wins and start fast. But they also have community goals. I think that’s for everybody. They want to look up in the stands, see a group of fans and just be happy to have them back.

“Our supporter groups have been nothing but great to us throughout the whole pandemic, and we hope that we gave them obviously something to cheer for at the end of last year,” goalkeeper Matter Turner said. “So seeing them and the fans and getting to have that bond again is going to be really special.”

Moving forward, never back. Fingers crossed, normal times are ahead.

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The Revolution open their season April 17 in Chicago. They play their home opener at Gillette Stadium on April 24. A limited number of fans will be allowed to watch in the stands.