FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – “What position do I put for Ryan Guy?”
That was the question posed by Digital Content Assistant Jeff Wroblewski as he edited the New England Revolution’s postgame video following last weekend’s 1-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union. In that match, Guy featured at both right back and center back, but simply listing him as a defender would’ve failed to capture the expansive scope of his role with the Revolution.
Guy has filled six different positions with the Revs this season, covering every inch of the field from forward to the backline. Essentially the only position Guy hasn’t played is goalkeeper and he actually came close – seriously – when Matt Reis sustained a severe gash over his eye late in a game, after the Revs had used all of their substitutions.
Prior to last weekend’s game at PPL Park, Guy’s versatility was primarily limited to midfield and forward, with only the occasional emergency appearance at right back to finish out a match. But the Revolution’s depleted backline lacked a wealth of options so Guy earned his first career start at right back.
Then center back A.J. Soares suffered a right knee injury in the 61st minute, and Guy was needed elsewhere. Although he’d never played there before at any point in his career, Guy was asked to shift into a central defensive role for the final 30 minutes.
“It was probably one of the few positions left that I’d yet to check off this year,” Guy said after the game. “I think more than anything I was disappointed that I had to go there because that just means A.J.’s gone down and that was really a shame. He’s always a loss.”
Undersized (5-foot-8) for a center back, Guy made use of his tremendous leaping ability and unending work ethic to do all he could to keep the Union’s attack at bay. Unfortunately, Philadelphia capitalized on a 73rd-minute free kick when Jack McInerney escaped Guy’s mark and buried a header at the back post.
Under ideal circumstances, Guy would never have to play center back or anywhere on the backline. But despite his inexperience as a defender, the 27-year-old felt comfortable enough to take on the makeshift role as he used observational lessons from the training ground as a guide.
“I’m always prepared to do what’s needed,” said Guy. “We train every day, we know each other well enough. I know A.J. well enough to know how he plays and all I try to do is emulate when I go in there. Same at right back watching Flo (Lechner) and Kevin (Alston), how they do it.”
While recently on international duty with Guam, Guy featured as a defensive midfielder, attacking midfielder and forward in three separate appearances. Upon his return to the Revs, he played as a right back and center back.
So what position do you put for Ryan Guy?
All of the above.