FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – No observer inside Gillette Stadium on Sunday night felt as conflicted as Sainey Nyassi did.
Then again, no one else in the building faced his peculiar dilemma. How could he reconcile the conflicting needs of his brother Sanna with those of his New England teammates?
As Sainey explained one day after Sanna embarked on a lengthy solo run to notch the only goal of the game in Montreal's 1-0 victory over the Revolution on Sunday, the entire night left him struggling to find the right emotional balance.
“I get caught up in the middle,” Nyassi told MLSsoccer.com after he started in the Revolution's 3-1 Reserve League defeat to the Impact on Monday morning. “I wanted to cheer for him, but I can't because we want to win to make the playoffs. Right now, we need the three points. Obviously, I wasn't that happy, but I congratulated him that he scored a great goal. It was tough for us, it was a tough night. On the other hand, my brother scored an amazing goal. So I was in between.”
WATCH: Sanna Nyassi goes the distance
He won't face a similar set of concerns as he plots his return to the Revolution lineup. Sainey watched Sanna have all the fun on the field while he failed to make Jay Heaps' squad for the match and supplement the one brief appearance he has made so far this season.
If there is a silver lining to Sanna's devastating winner on Sunday night, then it stems from the fact that Sainey said he plans to use his brother's success – five goals so far this season, including two match-winners against the Revolution – to fuel his quest to earn regular match action.
“[Sanna] is giving me a lot of confidence to try to get back on the field and try to do what he is doing,” Sainey said. “It is always competitive between us. If I see him play like that, I want to get on the field and do the same thing. I'm motivated to get back and get playing.”
Kyle McCarthy covers the New England Revolution for MLSsoccer.com.