FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England midfielder Sainey Nyassi heard the reports about Gambia's 1-0 African Cup of Nations qualifying defeat in Namibia on Sept. 3, but he couldn't do a thing to change them.
Nyassi has spent much of the past month on the sidelines nursing a right MCL sprain and could not make the trek to Windhoek to join Revolution teammate Kenny Mansally and Vancouver midfielder Mustapha Jarju.
“It was tough not being there to help my team qualify,” Nyassi told MLSsoccer.com on Saturday. “Now that we lost that game, I think we're out of the picture. It's going to be hard to qualify now.”
Although Nyassi will hope to feature in the Gambia squad for the final qualifier against Burkina Faso over Columbus Day weekend, he must first return to full fitness for his club side. Nyassi has yet to return to full training with the Revs, but he said he has started to make some progress along his road to recovery.
“I've started running outside,” Nyassi said. “Before, it was a bit difficult for me to make turns, but now I'm able to make those. A lot of things have been a bit difficult for me to do. I think that I'll be back soon.”
Reis tees off for charity
Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis will host the two-day Matt Reis Celebrity Golf Challenge on Sunday and Monday in concert with the Johnny Damon Foundation.
“I've done Johnny Damon's event down in Florida for quite a few years,” Reis said. “Speaking to the people that run it, I mentioned, 'Why don't we try to do something up here?' One thing led to another, and here we are.”
Several Revolution teammates will join Reis and other local celebrities for the pairings party at the House of Blues in Boston on Sunday and the golf tournament at the Shaker Hills Golf Club in Harvard, Mass., on Monday.
All of the activities are designed to raise money for Children's Hospital Boston, Grassroot Soccer and the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.
“Each one of them holds a special place in my heart,” Reis said. “I'm just trying to help out where I can.”
Jerseys up for auction to benefit 9/11 Memorial Fund
Reis also donated his autographed purple jersey and 9/11 memorial armband from last Saturday's 2-0 victory over FC Dallas to the New England Revolution Charitable Foundation for an auction designed to raise money for the 9/11 Memorial Fund.
Prospective bidders can pursue one of three autographed armband/jersey sets from that match – Benny Feilhaber and Shalrie Joseph also contributed to the cause – at biddingforgood.com from Wednesday to Sept. 21.