Revolution forward Joe-Max Moore hasn't had much to smile about this season. On Wednesday morning, he had reason to smile as a youth side from Everton FC, his former club in the English Premier League, observed a Revolution training session.
The under-12 side, in the States for a summer tour at the same time the senior side is preparing to play a couple of friendlies in Houston, were the guests of Moore at the training. The young Toffees stood on the sidelines as Revolution head coach and former Liverpool legend Steve Nicol put his side through brisk paces before adjourning training for the All-Star break.
"It wasn't any of my doing," admitted Moore. "The directors of a local soccer club, one of [the Revolution's] local supporters opened a new facility and invited Everton to come over. I just cut the ribbon."
Moore had only complimentary things to say about the young Evertonians, having witnessed a game on their tour.
"They are a great little team," said Moore. "One of the best I have ever seen at that age level. They are one of the best youth teams in England, perhaps all of Europe. They have beaten both teams, including a Massachusetts ODP team, they have played pretty handily."
The Revolution star admits that he has had a chance to talk with the budding prodigies about professional soccer and their attempts to become the next Wayne Rooney.
"I have just talked to the boys," said Moore. "At that age, it is all about the experience and the chance to visit another country. It's great for them to come here and face new competition. We have quite a few good youth teams in America, and I think it is great that they get to play each other. It's definitely worthwhile for everyone involved."
On the personal front, Moore is continuing his recovery from a strained MCL in his right knee injury that has kept him out for the balance of the season to date. The Revolution training staff had predicted that Moore would return well before this date, but it has been a long slog for Moore.
"I'm continuing my strength training and rehab work," said Moore. "I've done this ligament a few times. It's taking more time than I had hoped."
He admits that the frustration of observing his team from the sidelines has taken its toll.
"I have only played in a handful of games in the past year or so," said Moore. "My head's not in the best of shape right now. Watching is just about the hardest thing you can ask a player to do."
Moore believes that injuries have taken their toll on his side, but that the performances this season have been satisfactory.
"We have been doing well, but we could have done better," said Moore. "We have had a hard time dealing with injuries. At one point, we had seven starters out. It's hard for any team to overcome. That's why I was so disappointed with losing two points out in San Jose."
Kyle McCarthy is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.