Koffie and Watson return from suspension; Heaps has decisions to make vs. TFC


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Gershon Koffie and Je-Vaughn Watson will both be available for selection on Saturday afternoon against Toronto FC after the New England Revolution duo was suspended for last weekend’s victory over the New York Red Bulls.

As two of the Revolution’s most significant offseason additions, both Koffie and Watson were fixtures in the starting lineup through the first few games, before suspension and (for Watson) international duty temporarily took them out of the mix.

Watson has missed the last two games – Koffie just one – and Revolution head coach Jay Heaps is very much looking forward to getting the pair back ahead of a massive in-conference meeting with TFC.

“We need to continue to have that depth to be able to change games tactically when we need to, and continue to build our group,” said Heaps. “I think Je-Vaughn and Gershon only add strength to our group and add quality from one all the way to 30.”

The question now is whether they’ll slot directly back into the starting lineup.

London Woodberry was strong in a two-game stint filling in for Watson at right back, helping the Revs to four points while conceding just one goal. Kelyn Rowe shifted into a deeper-lying role last weekend against the Red Bulls to cover for Koffie and earned praise from Heaps in the process.

Should Koffie slide back into the starting lineup, it would give the Revolution more attacking options off the bench in the form of a player like Rowe, or potentially Teal Bunbury or Juan Agudelo should Rowe shift back into a role on the wing.

Those are decisions Heaps will have to make ahead of the weekend, and while it won’t be easy to keep any of those players on the bench, it’s a problem Heaps is more than happy to have.

“Decisions are the hardest thing a coach has to do, but also the best thing,” Heaps said. “When you have to make a decision between one or two or three players in a position, that’s when you know you have depth.”