FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The restless members of the New England Revolution will have spent 17 long days waiting for their next opportunity to take the field by the time Wednesday night’s match with the Philadelphia Union rolls around (8 pm ET, Galavisión).
While the Revs went through their paces as usual to fill the Hurricane Irene-prompted break and the reserves — reinforced by a few first-team regulars — defeated Toronto FC's second-stringers on Friday, they also used the impromptu respite to rejuvenate their bodies for the final eight matches of the season.
“We play for so long that it's important to take some time off and really use that time to give yourself a mental break and also a physical break,” New England goalkeeper Matt Reis told MLSsoccer.com on Monday morning. “After you've taken a mental and a physical break, you come back out and exert yourself in order to get ready for the game.”
Several injured players — including Reis (left knee irritation and swelling), Kevin Alston (left hamstring irritation), Milton Caraglio (left groin strain) and Franco Coria (left MCL sprain) — have used the unexpected down time to recover from recent knocks.
The expected inclusion of at least three of those players for the trip to Philadelphia — Coria has practiced for a couple of days and Revolution coach Steve Nicol said he may even be ready to feature after nearly a month on the sidelines — should bolster a squad trying to ramp up for the home stretch.
“It's given guys that were a little banged up time to get healthy and, hopefully, get some mobility back,” Reis said. “We're still adding new players in all the time, so it's always a work in progress for us.”
Nyassi remains on the sidelines
While several of his teammates have shrugged off injury complaints, Revolution midfielder Sainey Nyassi continues along the road to recovery from a right MCL sprain.
Nyassi jogged off to the side as the Revs completed their final preparations for the trip to PPL Park in midweek. Nicol ruled Nyassi out of contention for that match, but he noted that the Gambian midfielder has made strides toward returning to fitness over the past few weeks.
“As of now, it's a case of how much he can do before he feels it,” Nicol said. “It's not just that you wake up one day and it's gone. He's getting there.”
Mansally included in travel squad
Revolution midfielder Kenny Mansally returned to Massachusetts on Monday night after spending the past week away on international duty with Gambia.
Mansally flew to Namibia ahead of Saturday's 1-0 loss in Windhoek with fellow MLS players Mustapha Jarju (Vancouver) and Sanna Nyassi (Colorado). They embarked upon a lengthy journey back to the US after the defeat, but Mansally was still able to travel with the Revs for the date against the Union.