FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – It didn’t take long to realize Saer Sene had suffered a major injury.
Immediately after Sene went down under the challenge of Montreal Impact captain Davy Arnaud, players from both sides began frantically waving for the attention of medical personnel. While Sene was being treated and subsequently stretchered off the field at Stade Saputo, teammates and opponents alike were clearly upset by the incident, most notably Arnaud.
Television replays highlighted the graphic nature of the injury; a dislocated left ankle and a broken left fibula.
“It’s difficult,” admitted New England Revolution captain Jose Goncalves. “I knew that once Saer was down, I saw his leg and his face and I knew that something bad happened.”
Action eventually resumed in the 24th minute – approximately six minutes after the initial injury – leaving the Revs with two potential reactions in the remaining 66 minutes. They could either lose focus while their thoughts drifted to their fallen teammate, or they could rally around Sene and play for him.
They chose the latter.
Goncalves rewarded the Revolution’s bright first-half performance with the game’s only goal in the 31st minute and a stout defensive showing stifled the Impact en route to a league-leading 13th shutout of the season.
“It rocks the team,” said Chris Tierney, who compared the incident to Preston Burpo’s gruesome injury in 2010, when the former Revolution goalkeeper suffered a broken right fibula and tibia. “We got good leadership, guys sort of came together and I think we rallied around that. If anything, that gave us momentum in terms of us playing for Saer. In the end, it really helped push us on.”
While no timetable has been announced for Sene’s recovery, he’ll most certainly be sidelined as the Revs continue their quest for a first postseason berth since 2009. The Frenchman’s absence on the field will be felt, but the Revs have already proven capable of pushing on with Sene as inspiration.
“It was huge, especially for a young team like this, to rally and to keep the concentration,” said goalkeeper Matt Reis, the Revolution’s elder statesman. “There could’ve very easily been a dip in concentration, but to a man, there wasn’t. It was great and we all wish Saer the best and hopefully he has a speedy recovery.”