FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Revolution welcomed back a pair of familiar faces this past weekend as both Shalrie Joseph and Stephen McCarthy returned to the starting lineup for the Revolution’s 0-0 draw with Sporting Kansas City.
Joseph has been hampered by a series of injuries in recent weeks – including an adductor strain, a knee sprain, back stiffness and hip irritation – limiting the Revolution’s captain to just one start and two substitute appearances in the club’s previous five matches. But Joseph was back in the center of New England’s midfield against Sporting KC and went the full 90 minutes for the first time since June 30.
“It felt good,” Joseph said after the match. “My luck hasn’t been going my way for the last two weeks; I had back injuries, woke up bad and then just (had) knocks and bruises. But it felt good [Saturday night] coming out there and putting in 90 minutes with the team.”
McCarthy wasn’t able to go the full 90 minutes – he succumbed to cramps in the 78th minute as the sweltering heat began to take its toll – but the towering center back was thrilled simply to be back on the field with his teammates after missing the midweek trip to Montreal.
“I’m so happy to be back with the team,” said McCarthy, who joined the Revs in Kansas City on Friday. “It felt like I’d been lost for the past week just hanging around doing nothing. So I’m real happy.”
Because of the tenuous nature of McCarthy’s injury – he was sidelined by concussive-like symptoms after a clash of heads with Toronto FC forward Ryan Johnson on July 14 – the converted defender’s activity was limited throughout the week as the Revolution followed the necessary protocol for head injuries.
McCarthy was cleared late in the week and only had the chance to join his teammates for one light training session on Friday afternoon before taking the field in near-100-degree temperatures at Livestrong Sporting Park.
“It was tough,” admitted McCarthy, who celebrated his 24th birthday on Saturday. “Up in New England it’s always nice for the summer, so when you get down here it’s hot. I think we did pretty well and we were smart about our bodies, but I’ve been off for a week with this head thing, so it’s tough to just jump back in and I cramped pretty bad. But I should be good.”
Both Joseph and McCarthy will now have the chance to work themselves back into full training this week before Sunday’s trip to PPL Park for a meeting with the Philadelphia Union.
“I look forward to being out there [this] week practicing, working hard on getting back in the lineup, making this team go and making this team pick up three points every time we step out there,” said Joseph.