FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The news of Shalrie Joseph's departure almost seemed too significant and too surprising for his teammates to process on Wednesday morning.
Joseph no longer a Rev? On his way to Chivas USA in a trade?
Even in the volatile world of MLS, the move represents a dramatic shift for a club that has leaned on Joseph for the past decade to lead the team on the field and in the locker room.
“It still hasn't quite sunk in,” Revolution goalkeeper and longtime teammate Matt Reis told MLSsoccer.com. “It's been an interesting morning. There have been some seismic events, even though we don't get too many earthquakes around here.”
Losing the imposing and pervasive presence of their captain certainly qualifies as a dramatic shock. Joseph, 34, wielded plenty of influence within the squad and his absence will create a significant void to fill in several different areas.
“It's unfortunate,” Revolution left back Chris Tierney said. “That's part of the business. You lose friends to trades. Shalrie was very instrumental in my time here. He was a great leader for us, a great player and a great guy. It's tough to see him go, but we'll move forward and focus on Sporting this weekend. That's part of the business, I'm afraid.”
Part of the business involves trying to channel the conflicting emotions surrounding the move toward the team's overall success going forward. The decision to trade Joseph evoked a groundswell of thoughts among his former teammates, but their attention must soon shift to figuring out how to move forward without him
Revolution defender Darrius Barnes said he and his teammates must figure out a way to use the deal to help fuel their efforts for the remainder of the season.
“We have to look at it as a stepping stone,” Barnes said. “I feel like this could be the make or break point of our season, getting big news like that that the face of the franchise and the star player has been traded 3,000 miles away. I feel like this team has a lot of resolve. We'll form around it and move on from here. We've been through tough games and tough times this season. This is just another obstacle we're going to have to climb and get past.”