Back from injury, Tierney hoping to make preseason debut Wednesday vs. Chicago

TUCSON, Ariz. – Quite a few fresh faces have suited up for the New England Revolution through the club’s first five preseason matches – even a midfielder mysteriously known as Player X – but one of the Revolution’s most familiar names, Chris Tierney, has yet to be penciled in on a game day roster.

That could change as early as Wednesday afternoon, when Tierney hopes to make his preseason debut in a Desert Diamond Cup meeting with the Chicago Fire (5:30 p.m. ET, streaming live on revolutionsoccer.net and MLSsoccer.com).

“I think the plan is to try to get some minutes on Wednesday and then hopefully, if all things go well, again Saturday (in a DDC placement game),” said Tierney, who has been sidelined by a foot injury since the start of preseason. “I’m feeling back to full fitness, which is exciting for me. I’m just trying to get up to speed and in shape where I can help the team come day one.”

For Tierney, getting up to speed mainly involves reaching peak physical condition. While newer acquisitions require time during preseason to learn an unfamiliar system and style of play, Tierney – entering his seventh season with the Revs – should have no issues stepping straight onto the field.

These final two preseason matches will provide Tierney a chance to continue building his fitness and regaining match sharpness, while at the same time learning the tendencies of his newest teammates. But as far as understanding his role on the field, he’s well ahead of the curve.

“That’s the exciting part about this year is we’re coming back in with a system that we all know very well, us returning guys,” Tierney said. “So in terms of how we want to play and what [head coach Jay Heaps] expects of me, that stuff comes pretty quickly. It’s just making sure I take care of the physical side.”

And on the physical side, Tierney appears to be doing quite well. The 28-year-old left back has returned to full training in recent days and said he’s feeling close to 100 percent fitness. He won’t be satisfied, however, until he’s back playing in matches, particularly after watching much of the first month of preseason training from the sidelines.

“Watching as a pro is the hardest thing to do,” Tierney said. “All of us are players for a reason and that’s because we want to be on the field helping the team. I’m really excited to get back out with the guys and hopefully I can help the team improve and get better come day one.”