FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Teal Bunbury has missed two of the New England Revolution’s last three games with a nagging hamstring injury, but there is hope that the Revs’ leading goal scorer could recover in time for this weekend’s visit to Los Angeles FC.
Bunbury appeared in 43 consecutive league matches between June 2017 and August 2018 before he was sidelined for the Revs’ trip to Philadelphia three weeks ago. He returned to play the full 90 minutes in the 1-1 home draw with the Portland Timbers the following weekend, before a recurrence of the hamstring injury kept him off the trip to Yankee Stadium for last week’s win over New York City FC.
The veteran forward was limited to agility drills early in the week, and head coach Brad Friedel said the Revs’ staff would monitor Bunbury’s progression ahead of Thursday’s trip to the west coast.
“Teal looks pretty good,” Friedel said. “Hopefully, he’ll be with us. We’ll have to wait and see how the next couple of days go, but things are progressing nicely.”
Brian Wright earned his first league start in Bunbury’s stead last week, bagging the game-winning goal – his first in MLS – and hitting the post on another occasion. That gives Friedel several options up top – along with Juan Agudelo and Diego Fagundez – should Bunbury not recover in time to make the trip.
Should Wright get another opportunity, Friedel will be looking for a sustained run of form, while he’ll be hoping for similar performances from other fresh faces like Isaac Angking and Brad Knighton, who made their first appearances of 2018 at Yankee Stadium.
“It’s great that they do it once,” said Friedel. “That’s done. Now, you have to go prove yourself again, and then again and again. That’s what makes average players into good players, and good players into great players.
“It’s fantastic that Brian scored. It’s great that Isaac got on the field. What would be even better is if we beat LAFC on Saturday.”