By Kevin Koczwara
The New England Revolution have been struggling with injuries all year, but now they have a whole new player personnel issue to worry about: suspensions.
Midfielder Joseph Niouky and forward Kheli Dube will both serve a one game suspension after both players were shown straight red cards for separate incidents during Saturday night’s 1-1 draw with FC Dallas.
Niouky and Dube’s absence is significant because the Revolution have a busy schedule this month, eight games in 29 days.
“The one thing that actually hurts us as much as anything, never mind having to play with nine men [against Dallas], is the amount of games we have this month,” said Steve Nicol about the Revs busy month and the fatigued bench he will have to work with.
The Revolution have two games this week. Wednesday the Revs host Chivas USA and Saturday they travel to Columbus to take on the undefeated Columbus Crew. They will have to not only play without Dube and Niouky, but also without a few other players because of injury.
Defender Emmanuel Osei was out for Saturday’s game with a right leg laceration and that has to bring into doubt his availability for Wednesday’s game against Chivas USA . Taylor Twellman and Matt Reis are still out with long-term injuries, and Shalrie Joseph is still handling personal matters and will miss the game as well.
Too add to the long list of injured players is rookie standout Seth Sinovic, who was taken off Saturday night against FC Dallas because of an injury.
“I don’t know what’s wrong with [Seth Sinovic], but we took him off because of the injury,” said Nicol about removing the rookie from Saturday’s game. Sinovic’s injury status is not yet known, but even the smallest injury will have a major affect on the Revolution come Wednesday.
Counting the injuries and the suspensions, the Revolution will have 19 eligible players available for Wednesday’s game, just enough players to fill a game-day roster. And that number includes the Revolution’s last minute signing goalkeeper Tim Murray– signed on Friday April 30– who was brought in as a back-up for Preston Burpo with Matt Reis’s long-term injury.
The Revolution will need to cope with their injury woes if they hope to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot. They are currently holding onto the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference by goal differential over Kansas City, but if they can’t get a few points during this tough stretch of games with a short roster then they could be on the outside looking in come June.
Editor’s Note: We had posted that Seth Sinovic is not on the injury report for tomorrow’s game, and that is incorrect. The injury report comes out today and his status is unknown until then. The Revolution have updated their injury report. We will have the updates for you to follow.
Kevin Koczwara is a contributing writer and editor for The Soccer Guys. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ryan Fleming contributed to this article.