Joseph questionable for D.C. United trip
New England midfielder Shalrie Joseph looks set to miss his
second consecutive match with a right hip flexor strain when the Revolution
visits D.C. United on Saturday night.
Joseph sustained the injury two weeks ago as the Revolution
wrapped up a preseason trip to North Carolina and missed out on last Saturday's
season-opening 1-0 loss at Los Angeles.
Revolution coach Steve Nicol held out hope this week that
Joseph could recover in time to feature against United, but expressed doubt
that his influential midfielder would be able to take up his typical role in
central midfield. Nicol told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday that he wanted to assess
Joseph's fitness on Friday morning before deciding whether to include him in
the squad for Saturday's match.
“We were hoping he would be fit, but he is struggling,”
Nicol said. “I'm guessing next weekend's an absolute certainty, but this
weekend is questionable.”
If Joseph is unable to play against United, Nicol said he
would look to those players who started last week to raise the level of their
games to compensate for his absence.
“We obviously miss him, but any team would miss him,” Nicol
said. “The guys who started last week now have a good idea of what is coming
and what is expected of them. We're looking to progress from where we were last
Joseph isn't the only player expected to miss out. Long-term
injury victims Matt Reis [left shoulder and knee surgeries] and Taylor Twellman
[head and neck symptoms] remain sidelined, while Nico Colaluca [left knee
sprain] and Edgaras Jankauskas [right calf strain] are also unavailable.
Mauricio Castro will serve the second match of a two-game ban incurred during
the second leg of last year's Eastern Conference semifinals defeat to Chicago.
New England defender Cory Gibbs told MLSsoccer.com that he
and his teammates need to push the lingering injury concerns to one side and
focus on picking up a victory against United.
“It's not only about being away and having injuries,” Gibbs
said. “We have to look over it and we have. As a unit, we know whoever has to
step up has to do well and I think that's something we'll improve upon in D.C.
this weekend. We want three points.”