Injuries are something you cannot help, something you have to get over and unfortunately they are part of every sport. Teams are forced to play through them to the best of their ability. No team knows that better than the New England Revolution right now.
Playing at home for the first time this season can level a team’s state of mind and give them a little extra boost that can be all the difference between a win and a loss. Given all the injuries the Revs have had to play through in only the second week of the season, the home opener tomorrow night at Gillette Stadium against Toronto, could not have come at a better time.
“We’ve had two games, one in L.A. and another in D.C., and unfortunately we haven’t even been able to even field or travel with an 18 man roster,” said Vice President of Player Personnel Mike Burns. “We had 16 bodies in L.A. and we had 17 in D.C.”
Toronto, though, won’t be too excited to see the Revs healing and playing with a full squad. TFC (0-1-0, 0pts) travel to Foxboro with aspirations of escaping with a win and three points – climbing their way out of the cellar in the Eastern Conference, albeit early in the season.
The Revs (1-1-0, 3pts) are coming off a 2-0 win against D.C United last Saturday. Kenny Mansally, MLS’s player of the week, tallied two scores within two minutes, providing all the offense New England would need.
Unlike the previous two weeks for the Revs, tomorrow night, they might be able to fill the 18-man roster. With the new signing of Serbian, Marko Perovic from FC Basel in Switzerland’s top league, the Revs have more of an ability to control play in the midfield and create more goal-scoring opportunities. The singing of Perovic shores up the bland play of the midfield that has been due partially to the absence of Shalrie Joseph (who could be back tomorrow) and the departing of Steve Ralston before the start of the season. It also gives the Revolution more options in regards to formations and playing styles.
“He gives us an option,” head coach Steve Nichol said. “When things aren’t working out the way we are playing at the present time we have an option to go a different route. It’s always good to have players that can adapt whatever route you go.”
Perovic won’t be in the starting XI, but he’ll be on the bench in case Nichol decides to use him.
“I think it will be hard for him to come straight off the plane and play straight away,” Nichol stated. “I think it is unrealistic that he can come in and start, so we’ll see him on the bench and we’ll see if we need him and bring him on.”
The Revolution will also be with the help of defender, Darrius Barnes. The former Blue Devil has been recovering from a hip flexor strain; the same injury that has been ailing Joseph.
“I feel good,” Barnes said. “This weekend is the first weekend I was actually available.”
Tomorrow night will be the first night players will be coming back from injury – almost a whole team again.
“It’s just all about us coming together,” Barnes stated. “We have enough talented players to do great things this year.”
Ryan Fleming is an editor and a contributing writer for The Soccer Guys. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kevin Koczwara contributed to this article.
The Revolution’s game is usually broadcast on Comcast Sportsnet, but due to the scheduling conflict with the Boston Celtics’ broadcast, the games will be televised on other stations depending on you local network. Here is a list of all the channels broadcasting the game, I mean you could always go to the game too. Check out our live coverage tomorrow via our live blog.
Marko Perovi highlights