FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – It didn't take long for Ryan Guy to figure out that Kevin Alston's fractured nose would directly impact the rest of his afternoon.
Guy earned his first start of the season on the right flank during New England's 1-0 victory over Portland this past Saturday, but he knew he would end the match playing right back when Alston departed with 20 minutes left to play.
“As soon as I saw [Alston] go off and Alec Purdie ready to go on, I thought, ‘Well, alright, I'm going to right back,’” Guy told MLSsoccer.com.
The situation didn't throw the versatile Guy off his game. He saw time at right back at various junctures last season and understood the role he needed to fill for the team. Although he prefers to play further up the field, the 26-year-old willingly slotted into his defensive duties to help the Revs protect the lead.
“That's no problem for me,” Guy said. “I'm happy to play wherever I'm needed to play. As long as I'm getting playing time, I'm happy. Even if [I'm] not and we're winning, that's a good thing. I think this club needs to get more wins. However that can be done, we're going to do it.”
In this particular instance, the formula for victory required 20 further minutes of dogged defensive work with two midfielders – including Shalrie Joseph as a stand-in center back – as part of the rearguard.
The overall performance in that final period did not reveal the dearth of specialist defenders on the field. Instead, the spell served as a positive reflection upon the system Revolution coach Jay Heaps has instilled and the versatility of Guy and Joseph to adapt to the demands placed upon them, according to Revolution defender A.J. Soares.
“[Guy is] super athletic and he works his butt off,” Soares said. “I liked having him back there. With Shalrie, he's just such a good player that he can go anywhere. It doesn't matter with him. We all went in as a unit and did a good job.”
Although the makeshift back four accomplished its task against the Timbers, Heaps will likely allow Guy to return to his midfield role for this Saturday's trip to Los Angeles.
Alston is listed as probable for the date against the Galaxy despite his recent nasal setback, while fellow right back Florian Lechner is expected to be available for the first time since completing his free transfer move from German side Karlsruher SC.