Simms primed for emotional return to RFK Stadium

Longtime D.C. United midfielder set to visit former club for the first time

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Clyde Simms has returned to the Nation’s Capital a few times since his seven-year stint with D.C. United came to an end last December, but it’s always been under friendly circumstances.

Simms maintains strong bonds with many of his former United teammates and often visits the D.C. area when the Revs have time off, including as recently as this past weekend. But as of now, Simms has never visited RFK Stadium as a member of the opposition.

That will likely change this weekend when the Revs travel south for a Saturday night showdown with United, and Simms admits he’s been anticipating his return.

“I think it’ll be a little bit emotional,” said Simms, who missed his first chance to return to RFK Stadium back in May when he was sidelined by tendonitis in his left ankle. “I missed the first trip because of injury and I was very disappointed not to be able to go back and play there. But I’m excited about it. I’m excited that we’re coming off a win and have a little bit of momentum going in there.”

Having departed D.C. in fifth place on the club’s career appearance chart (182), Simms is part of United’s history. But much of the emotion of facing his former club was released early in the season when D.C. visited Gillette Stadium on April 14, while the timing of Simms’ return to RFK Stadium – almost nine months after signing with the Revolution – makes it less impactful.

“I definitely consider myself a Rev by now and I’m happy here. This is my team,” said Simms. “I definitely still follow [United], follow their results and watch highlights of their games. I’m still friends with some guys on the team. But I think having played almost a full season with the Revs, it definitely lessens the impact.”

While there will be some emotion, Simms’ primary focus will be on the task at hand, which is to build upon last week’s slump-busting 2-0 win over the Columbus Crew. It won’t be an easy task against a D.C. side which is currently in a heated battle for one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.

“It’s going to be a hard-fought game,” said Simms. “They’ll have some fans out, for sure. I think D.C.’s always been – or what I always heard when I played there – is it’s a tough place to come and get a result. They’re going to be fighting, but I think there’s a lot of pressure on them. If we hit them early, I think that’ll start to wear on them a bit.”