FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Claude Dielna is on the mend after the New England Revolution defender was forced off at halftime of last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Seattle Sounders FC.
Dielna passed a late fitness test and started at left back against Seattle, but he was replaced by Gabriel Somi after 45 minutes as he suffered from “a bit of a muscle issue in his lower back.”
The issue kept Dielna out of full training on Tuesday morning, but the 30-year-old veteran was put through an intense workout by head of fitness Anton McElhone and he remains in contention for a place in the squad on Saturday night when the LA Galaxy visit Gillette Stadium.
“We wanted to take a little bit of precaution [on Tuesday] and still run him through quite a bit of fitness, but more in a structured setting,” head coach Brad Friedel said of Dielna, who has featured in 14 of the Revs’ 18 games this season. “We’ll see how it is [on Wednesday] and Thursday, but hopefully there isn’t any issue for the weekend.”
Teammates thrilled to have Angking back in the mix after “a long road”
Isaac Angking’s long road to recovery is nearly complete as the 18-year-old Homegrown has progressed past pure fitness, joining his teammates for several training activities in recent days.
Angking spent the past five months slowly recovering from a non-soccer-related medical emergency, and he’d spent significant time in recent weeks working on agility and fitness with McElhone and the Revolution’s athletic trainers.
This week Angking has featured in passing, possession and finishing drills as well as small-sided games, and Friedel said the next step will be to get the young midfielder minutes in a reserve match as he continues to build towards match fitness.
“It’s great to have him back,” said Friedel, noting Angking’s desire to impress now that he’s on the field. “As far as when he’ll be match fit, not sure yet, but the good news is, that’s where we’re at now.
“We’re just getting him minutes on the ball, minutes with the players, and hopefully we can get him into a reserve match or two so he’s fully able to join in as his general fitness now progresses.”
While there’s no one more excited about Angking’s return than the player himself, his teammates have also been delighted to see the dynamic teenager back on the training ground.
“He’s a great kid, he’s lively,” said Teal Bunbury. “It’s been a long road for him, but we’re really happy that he’s out on the field, seeing his smiling face. He’s such a gifted, talented player. It’s just great to have him back in the mix.”
Samayoa recalled from loan with Las Vegas; Segbers returns to Orange County
Rookie defender Nico Samayoa has returned from his loan stint with Las Vegas Lights FC, having played 120 minutes in a pair of appearances for the USL side.
Samayoa went on loan to Las Vegas shortly after starting for the Revs in their U.S. Open Cup loss to Louisville City FC in early June, but the 22-year-old fourth-round SuperDraft pick was hampered by a knee injury for much of his stay in Sin City.
Although limited by that injury, Samayoa capped his Vegas stint by earning USL Team of the Week honors in his only start, going 89 minutes is a 1-0 win over St. Louis FC last weekend.
Week 17's best: pic.twitter.com/uJzfrbeaDn— USL (@USL) July 10, 2018
“I think it’s important for the younger players that they do get the training that we have here, and then they go get some first-team games if they’re not getting first-team games here,” said Friedel. “I think from that standpoint it will have served a very, very good purpose.”
Fellow rookie Mark Segbers, who had returned to the Revs for the past month and scored in that Open Cup meeting with Louisville City, has rejoined Orange County SC on a short-term basis. Segbers made 11 appearances (eight starts) in his first stint with OCSC, scoring a pair of goals, and played the full 90 minutes last weekend against LA Galaxy II.