Joseph awaits Grenada call, mulls Gold Cup participation
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England captain Shalrie Joseph knows that Grenada will release their CONCACAF Gold Cup roster next week. He just isn't sure that he will be on it.
“I've been delaying the decision for a couple of weeks,” Joseph told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday afternoon. “It's coming up on me and I have to make a decision. The roster will come out. Whether you'll see me on it, we'll find out next week.”
It appears that Grenada coach Mike Adams will name Joseph to his squad for the tournament. Joseph featured prominently on a list of eight professional players posted to the Grenada FA's website.
“The last time I talked to them, they said they were going to send in a request and ask permission for me to leave," Joseph said. "Hopefully, they did that. Hopefully, I can go to Stevie [Nicol, Revolution coach] and — if it comes to that — and say that I'm going to go play in the Gold Cup.”
If Adams and the Grenada Football Association select Joseph for the Gold Cup and satisfy established procedures for communicating such a request, the Revolution cannot stand in Joseph's way if he decides to participate. Nicol said he didn't know any specifics about the situation at the present time.
“We don't have any control over it,” Nicol said. “We'll see.”
It isn't a straightforward choice for Joseph. The natural tug of club-vs.-country takes on greater meaning this time around with Joseph hoping to sign a new MLS contract when his present deal expires at the end of the season and the Revs still struggling to find a foothold in the competitive Eastern Conference.
“I'm in between, to be honest about it,” Joseph said. “I'm in the last year of my contract. I've been playing good for the team. I've been doing what the team needs me to do. We've been getting wins here and there and picking up points. My main focus right now is staying on MLS and trying to concentrate through this game [at San Jose on Saturday].”
The time to reach a final verdict is fast approaching. Joseph looks like he'll hold most of the cards — he can decline a call-up if he so chooses. But the control doesn't make wading through the process any easier.
“It's about managing your priorities,” Joseph said. “I have to figure out what is more important to me: getting another cap for Grenada or making sure this team is on the right footing, moving forward in the right direction and making sure my personal life is in order.”