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New England Revolution lose Jose Goncalves for Chicago Fire tilt, but confident in reserves

jose Goncalves

Photo Credit: 
USA TODAY Sports

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – After finding their stride in the defensive third of the field, the New England Revolution will be forced to advance without the help of captain and reigning MLS Defender of the Year José Gonçalves, who was injured in last Saturday’s 2-0 win vs. Houston.

There may be no team better suited to take such a hit either, as the Revolution’s depth on defense breeds confidence given that the club has allowed just four goals over their last five matches.

“You build a team that has depth,” Jay Heaps told MLSsoccer.com prior to Friday morning's training session. “I think we have good depth and we challenge each other.”

After playing in all 34 games last season, Gonçalves was listed as "out" with a strained right quad. It was the first time in his career that he was labeled as such on the injury report.

Andrew Farrell will shift from right back to the center void left by Gonçalves and it is expected that Darrius Barnes will take over on the right side.

“We’ve got a lot of guys that are on the bench that deserve to be starting, too, and would be starting on any other team,” center back A.J. Soares told MLSsoccer.com on Friday. “Perfect example is Darrius. He comes in and is always one of the best players on the team.”

The added uncertainty of Chris Tierney (hip injury) on the left side may afford Kevin Alston another start, which would further magnify the need for Soares to lead at the back.

“I think A.J. has been spot on since day one,” said Heaps. “He’s a leader, he’s vocal, has a very good understanding of the game. That’s why I think players transition well next to him.”

The Revolution kept the Dynamo from getting a shot on goal a week ago, but doing that again will be a bit more of a challenge on Saturday against a Chicago Fire (4 pm ET, NBCSN) side that has not yet been shutout in any of their six matches.

“You stick to the system,” said Soares. “It’s not about any one guy. It’s obviously more difficult when your captain is out, but it’s not a problem and we have enough guys to stick to the system and get a result.”