FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England midfielder Clyde Simms prepared for his first match against D.C. United by returning to his old home last weekend.
Simms may not play in Washington any longer, but he traveled there to visit his girlfriend and his townhouse in the city during a break in the Revolution's schedule. He even stopped by RFK Stadium to take in Saturday's 0-0 draw between United and Seattle.
“I went to the game and hung out with some of the guys afterward and the next day,” Simms told MLSsoccer.com ahead of Saturday afternoon's clash between the two sides at Gillette Stadium. “One of the guys [Brandon McDonald] actually lived in my basement. He just moved out.”
Simms went through the same process this winter as he made the transition to New England after seven years with United. Simms said it wasn't easy to leave his adopted home, but he quickly tackled the challenge of settling in with a new squad in a new locale.
“It was tough,” Simms said. “There were a few tough moments in preseason, for sure, having to leave there. I'm used to leaving D.C. for preseason, but just knowing that I wasn't going back to D.C. was tough. I'd been there for seven years. But I got along great with the guys, and you're with them so much during the day – you're not really alone during the day during preseason – and that helped a lot.”
Any qualms about making the transition north to Boston quickly dissipated. Simms adjusted to his unfamiliar surroundings and carved out his place within a different squad. New England is, in Simms' words, his new home now.
Simms' comfort in his new surroundings doesn't obscure the fact that this game offers a few more subplots than usual for him. He will likely shrug off a recent bout with calf tightness and line up against a few of his former teammates when he presumably takes the field, a prospect all the more likely since Benny Feilhaber is still recovering from injury and Shalrie Joseph is suspended.
Instead of lobbing rhetorical salvos before the match like one of his former teammates – Seattle’s Marc Burch – did last week under similar circumstances, Simms said he plans to let his play – and the Revolution's overall showing – serve as his commentary.
“I don't have anything to say,” Simms said. “We'll do our talking on the field.”