FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Another week of hectic travel demands will not keep Jerry Bengtson out of the squad for New England's trip to D.C. United on Saturday.
Bengtson embarked on yet another extended journey through North America to score twice for Honduras in a pair of World Cup qualifying wins over Cuba. He collected the first goal in a 3-0 win in Havana last week and followed up that effort with the decisive tally in a 1-0 victory in San Pedro Sula on Tuesday.
Those contributions bolstered the Catrachos' hopes of securing a spot in the Hexagonal, but they will not prevent Bengtson from fulfilling his club duties and trying to add to his haul of two goals in seven appearances this weekend.
“Physically, I feel good,” Bengtson told MLSsoccer.com through a translator. “Mentally, I feel good. I'm back here now and I'm ready to give my best effort to score some goals with the Revolution.”
The 25-year-old striker practiced with his New England teammates on Thursday after returning from Honduras on Wednesday. Revolution coach Jay Heaps said Bengtson’s displays during the session proved he could push for a place against United at RFK Stadium (7:30 pm ET, watch LIVE online).
“He jumped right in,” Heaps said. “He had a day off. Tomorrow, we'll bring him down a little bit more because tomorrow is more of a travel day. He looks good. He'll definitely be available.”
Whether Bengtson features from the start remains uncertain. Heaps may opt to retain Diego Fagundez and Dimitry Imbongo up front after they performed well in the Revs' 2-0 win over Columbus last Wednesday. Bengtson and ex-D.C. man Blake Brettschneider will also press for a berth in the starting 11 as Heaps attempts to cull his quartet of forward options down to two.
“I thought Diego and Dimitry did an excellent job,” Heaps said. “They worked their tails off. You could see that really frustrated Columbus. Blake did the same thing when he came in the game. We feel that our four forwards are aggressive and can change the game.”
Simms relishes return to D.C.
Clyde Simms has already faced D.C. United once as a member of the Revolution, but he still hasn't played at the ground where he carved out his place in MLS after missing the Revs' first trip in May through injury.
That drought will end on Saturday if Simms assumes his usual berth in the center of the park. The veteran midfielder said he can't wait to enter RFK Stadium as a visiting player for the first time since departing the club last year.
“I think it'll be a little bit emotional,” Simms said. “I missed the first trip due to injury and I was disappointed not to go back and play there. I'm excited about it and I'm excited we're coming off a win and have a little bit of momentum going in there.”