FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Ryan Guy was back in training with the New England Revolution on Tuesday morning, two days after returning from a weeklong journey to the Philippines in which the 27-year-old midfielder made his international debut with Guam.
Although the tiny island territory finished third in the four-team Philippine Peace Cup – suffering losses to the Philippines (1-0) and Chinese Taipei (2-0) before beating Macau (3-0) – Guy spoke glowingly about the opportunity to represent his father’s homeland and a place he visited frequently as a youngster.
“It was a special experience,” he said. “I meshed with the guys on my team very quickly. For a second I felt like, ‘Oh my gosh, these are my people,’ which was really cool. That was special for me. I had a really good time and I’m hopefully looking forward to meeting up with them again.”
Guy appeared in all three of Guam’s matches, which were played during a hectic five-day stretch with only one recovery day between each match. Featuring as a defensive midfielder, attacking midfielder and forward at various points, Guy saw his minutes decrease throughout the week from 70 minutes against the Philippines, to 50 minutes against Chinese Taipei and finally to 15 minutes against Macau.
The progressive decrease in playing time was by design as part of a preset limit suggested by the Revolution, which agreed to let Guy travel for the tournament on the condition that his minutes didn’t exceed a certain threshold. Guy missed the Revolution’s recent trip to Houston, but he’ll be needed by the injury-plagued club for the final three games of the regular season.
“We were nervous about (him) having three games in a week,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “It was contingent upon the number of minutes (he played). Were we going to let him go? They wanted him so badly that they really adhered to that and he played a total of about 135 minutes, which is good.”
Upon his return to the training field at Gillette Stadium, Guy looked fit and active despite making the 20-hour return trip only days ago, and the energetic midfielder gave much of the credit for his physical condition to the Revolution’s athletic training staff.
“I played a lot of games and the training staff here, I think sometimes it’s easy to take them for granted,” said Guy. “But [with Guam] we really had no one. I don’t think any of the teams did. We had a doctor who would prescribe ibuprofen and that was about the extent of the medical staff. The job [head athletic trainer Sean Kupiec and assistant athletic trainer Evan Allen] do is really paying off.”
Guy admitted it’ll take a few days to completely regain his fitness, but following an off day on Wednesday and two more training sessions to close out the week, he believes he’ll be ready to feature on Saturday night when the Revs travel to face the Philadelphia Union.
As for his international career, Guy is already looking forward to his next chance to help continue the growth of the game in Guam.
“The level’s decent, but there’s a long way to go for Guam,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of the institutions in place to help grow the national team and it’s something that I’m excited to be a part of. It’s special to be able to play for a nation you feel pride in and feel a part of. I was grateful for the opportunity.”