FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Stepping on the field again is both the first and the last thing on Matt Reis' mind right now.
The veteran New England Revolution goalkeeper desperately wants to play with his teammates. It is what he knows and what he loves. It offers him a sense of normalcy in the wake of significant upheaval.
But he also knows that his focus must remain firmly fixed on his family at the moment. Reis' father-in-law, John Odom, suffered significant injuries to his ribs and his legs during the pair of explosions at the Boston Marathon on Monday. Odom underwent three surgeries in two days. He remains in the hospital as he attempts to recover from the wounds suffered in the blast.
“Of course, I'd like to get back here and play and be with the guys and around the guys,” Reis told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. “Right now, that's not necessarily the most important thing. My teammates know that. It's important for me to support my family now and make sure we get through this.”
It will take some time for Reis and his family to come to terms with the magnitude of the events that unfolded on Monday. He has spent this week shuttling between his home and a Boston hospital. He has not practiced with his teammates, though he did stop by Gillette Stadium to see them on Wednesday morning. How and when the current calculus will change remains uncertain.
“We're taking it day-by-day," Reis said. "Jay [Heaps, Revolution coach], Mike [Burns, Revolution general manager] and the whole Kraft family have been incredibly supportive of what I've been going through and what my family is going through. Everything we're doing is in steps. It's small, little steps. That's how we're approaching everything here, going day-by-day and seeing what we can do and how we can do it.”
For now, Reis must focus on putting one foot in front of the other and tending to his off-the-field concerns first. And, someday soon, those advances will lead him right back onto the field.