Hindered by early bumps in the road, Németh fighting to earn his minutes

Krisztian Nemeth vs. Atlanta United FC

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Arriving just before the transfer window closed in mid-August, Krisztián Németh had hoped to provide a spark for the New England Revolution through the final 12 games of the regular season and into the MLS Cup Playoffs.

Those plans have been sidetracked, however, by a few minor bumps in the road.

Németh, who was in the midst of preseason preparations with Qatari club Al-Gharafa when he arrived in Foxborough, suffered a calf injury shortly after joining the Revs, delaying his debut until early September. Already rushing to build his fitness, the injury was a frustrating detour at an unfortunate moment.

But patience paid off for Németh, who made a positive debut on September 2 against Orlando City SC, assisting on Teal Bunbury’s late capper despite officially logging just one minute off the bench.

That led to a much-anticipated start in Kansas City two weeks later, when Németh was set to face his former club, Sporting KC, where he spent the 2015 campaign. The anticipation was short-lived, however, as Németh was sent off after just 11 minutes for catching Graham Zusi with a flailing elbow.

Through almost two months, Németh has seen just 34 minutes of action in four appearances, but interim head coach Tom Soehn believes the Hungarian striker’s abilities are beginning to shine through, particularly in a 14-minute appearance off the bench last weekend against Atlanta United FC.

“Anybody coming in with 12 games to go is put in a difficult scenario,” Soehn said. “I think we’re starting to get to see him a little bit more. Even the last game when he came in, you could see his qualities.”

Soehn believes that brief showing against Atlanta could be a springboard for Németh, who could benefit from the international break by getting an extra week to continue sharpening his skills ahead of the regular-season home finale against New York City FC on October 15.

“This is a great two-week stretch for him because he can really put himself in a good spot,” Soehn said. “I know the qualities are there; it’s just acclimating him to the team a little bit.”