New England Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe’s status was in question all week long after he was removed from last Saturday’s game in the 89th minute with a left hamstring strain, but there is finally a verdict.
The hardnosed Rowe, an integral part of the New England attack, has been listed as out for the upcoming match vs. the San Jose Earthquakes. Rowe was evaluated after being unable to participate in three straight training sessions and was deemed not healthy enough to play, leaving the Revolution with a hole to fill in their lineup this weekend.
“He’s always positive,” said Lee Nguyen earlier in the week as the team speculated on Rowe’s availability. “His work rate is unbelievable, so it helps to have him in the middle with us.”
Rowe’s injury will sideline him for the second time this season and will force head coach Jay Heaps to use a different starting lineup for the fourth time in four games. If the Revolution stick with their 4-1-4-1 formation, as Heaps alluded to earlier in the week, then veteran Daigo Kobayashi looks to be the choice to fill in for Rowe at center mid.
The attack-minded Japanese midfielder has logged 126 minutes and one start in his first season with the Revolution, getting off two shots, including one this past Saturday that was destined to be the team’s first goal of the season before Whitecaps defender Andy O’Brien thwarted the bid.
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“I thought Daigo came in and changed the game,” Heaps told the media earlier in the week. “He gave us one or two really good opportunities to score. Andy O’Brien blocked two shots that, when I look at them on film in super-slow, it looked like they were going in. Daigo’s being one of them.”
Another option for the Revolution would be a return to the 4-2-3-1 that Heaps used when Rowe was unable to play versus Philadelphia in Week 2, which could return Scott Caldwell to the starting rotation at defensive mid.
Based on the way that the defense played last week in the 4-1-4-1, a change in formation would be unlikely.