FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Gershon Koffie’s brief return was a footnote in Saturday night’s dramatic 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire, but it was a potentially vital development as the New England Revolution push deeper into the second half of the 2016 campaign.
Koffie missed two months – totaling 10 games in all competitions – with a right knee sprain suffered back on May 21, robbing the Revs of a key cog in central midfield. Prior to the injury Koffie had started every game for which he’d been available in his first season with the Revolution.
New England used multiple players in his absence – Je-Vaughn Watson, Kelyn Rowe, Daigo Kobayashi and Zach Herivaux all saw time alongside Scott Caldwell in midfield – before Koffie made his long-awaited return in the 88th minute of this past weekend’s victory.
It’s likely that Koffie will need to gradually increase his minutes to rebuild his fitness, so an immediate return to the starting lineup likely isn’t in the cards. But Saturday night’s brief cameo was a critical first step to getting the dynamic central midfielder back to full strength.
“We’re excited about his progression,” head coach Jay Heaps said of Koffie. “He was awesome for us the beginning half of the year and getting him back in gives us a lot more depth. We need to get him fully fit and ready to go. It was good to get his feet back in the water.”