CARSON, Calif. – Shalrie Joseph has achieved many things in his career: MLS Best XI and All-Star team member, MLS Cup appearances, numerous playoff matches.
On Wednesday, he will notch another milestone. For the first time, he will play against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium (8 pm ET, watch LIVE online), his home from 2003 until the trade that took him to the West Coast earlier this season.
Chivas USA will visit the Revs in a match that will place Joseph back in a familiar and comfortable setting. While New England was a major part of his life for a decade, the big midfielder has done well to refocus and regroup.
“You get a little bit of feeling going in there,” Joseph said. “I’ve been there for 10 years, it was my home and now I’m in LA, I’m with Chivas. That’s where my heart is right now.”
Joseph’s departure from New England stunned the Revolution faithful and seemingly caught the league by surprise. While Joseph initially said he was saddened by the move, no hard feelings remain. Thus, his return may be a bit moving but won’t necessarily be a bitter one.
“It’s going to be an emotional return, I’m not going to lie about that,” he said. “But I’m not worried about them trading me. They made a business decision, they made a decision to let me go and I can’t be mad about that. I just have to let it go and concentrate about what’s next for my future.”
Chivas have had a player in a similar situation already this season. In May, Juan Pablo Ángel returned to play at New York for the first time since he was let go after the 2010 season. Ángel scored a goal in a 1-1 draw.
While he was not immediately aware that he would get the chance to play against the Revs so quickly after his trade, Joseph said a return was never really something he desired or necessarily wanted to happen.
“I wasn’t really concentrating about me going back there,” Joseph said. “For me it’s always about what’s next. My first [game] was against the Galaxy and I was looking forward to playing in the SuperClasico. Then we went up to Colorado and then Seattle and up next is New England, so I look forward to that one.”
Luis Bueno covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com and can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.