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Posts Tagged ‘Shalrie Joseph leave of absence’

by Adam Vaccaro

On April 24, New England Revolution captain Shalrie Joseph took a leave of absence that cost him five league matches and seven overall. Few details were released, and fans immediately began speculating as to its reason. The odds were that Joseph had either suffered a serious family emergency, or he’d committed an atrocity.

Within a few days, Boston.com’s Frank Dell’Apa reported that Joseph was partaking in MLS’s Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health program. In his time away from the club during what actually proved to be a suspension, the Revolution went 0-3-2 and were clearly lacking in phases of the game to which Joseph added quite a bit.

But fans understood. Joseph was involved with some pretty bad stuff, they figured, and needed some help. Or worse yet, maybe he was using PEDs and in actuality really deserved the punishment.

Nope and nope. Guess what? It was pot. Yup. Pot. Pot cost Shalrie Joseph 5 MLS matches and, by extension, put the Revs in a pretty deep hole.

If I were a Revs fan, I would be furious. And not (entirely) with Shalrie.

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by Adam Vaccaro

After missing 8 matches – 6 of which were due to a leave of absence that is now being referred to by some as a suspension – Shalrie Joseph returned to the Revolution on Saturday afternoon against Toronto FC.

Joseph returned to the Revolution against Toronto FC.

And perhaps coincidentally, but probably not, New England entered yesterday’s match mired in an 8 game winless streak. Its last victory? A 4-1 thrashing of the same Toronto club at Gillette Stadium on April 10. Prior to yesterday, this was the only game Joseph had participated in this season.

So there was reasonable optimism amongst Revs fans as Joseph, sporting the Captain’s band and starting at a familiar central mid spot, led his team onto the field for the first time in a month and a half. As such, there was reasonable disappointment to match when the club walked off having fallen victim to a 1-0 defeat in Ontario and stretching the streak to 9 matches, 7 of which count in the MLS standings.

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Shalrie Joseph is starting this afternoon’s match against Toronto FC. He is plugged into a central midfield position as the Revs are sticking with the 4-5-1 formation they’ve used in the last two league matches. Joseph is also wearing the captain’s band.

Seth Sinovic is sitting for the first time this year, with Chris Tierney taking his spot as the left defender.

Here’s the Revs’ lineup:

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The Revolution (2-5-2) return to MLS action this afternoon, three days after having fallen 4-0 to Portugal’s SL Benfica. New England landed today in Toronto for the road match. Toronto FC (3-4-1) holds the distinction of last falling victim to a Revolution victory back on April 10, when Zack Schilawski posted a hat trick in collecting his first three MLS goals. It will also be the Revs’ 7th of 8 matches in the month of May. Here are some notes on the game, which is scheduled for a 1 PM start.

  • Frank Dell’Apa reported late last night that Shalrie Joseph will return today.  Joseph has missed five matches on a “leave of absence” that is now being referred to as a suspension while he was taking part in MLS’s Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health program. Joseph’s return is a huge boost for a Revs team in need of not just a finishing touch but fresh and healthy bodies. It’ll be interesting to keep an eye on 2 things: will Joseph immediately regain the captain band, and how many minutes will he play? The latter question is borne of a more fundamental one: what will take precedence in decisions regarding his usage — Joseph’s conceptually being out of game shape, or the Revs’ complete exhaustion? All the same, the club and its fans must be very pleased to have him back. Joseph’s last (and only) match played so far this year came in the 4-1 defeat of Toronto FC.
  • On the injury front, there are no changes since Tuesday. Edgaras Jankauskas is doubtful. Mike Videira, Darrius Barnes, Emmanuel Osei, Taylor Twellman, and Matt Reis all remain out. It seems fair to once again expect Pat Phelan – originally drafted by the Reds – to fill in for Barnes at centerback, especially given that Joseph will likely settle into the defensive mid role that Phelan had been covering in his absence. (more…)

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It was an unusual week for the Revolution, from Monday’s big-news beginning to the very tense match that closed it out.  Let’s run through it real quick, story by story.

The Revs’ tumultuous week got started almost immediately following the club’s 2-1 loss to the Colorado Rapids last Saturday night.  Before lunchtime on Monday, it was announced that captain Shalrie Joseph was taking an indefinite leave of absence from the club.  Speculation ran rampant immediately as reasons for the leave were not — and of yet, have not — been announced, but very early Wednesday morning, Frank Dell’Apa reported for Boston.com that the midfielder had left to take part in MLS’s substance abuse and behavioral health program.  We still have no further information and the club has not commented on this report, but Joseph’s teammates have acknowledged that he has problems to deal with, essentially verifying a very respected journalist’s report.

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With the Revs now just over twenty-four hours from hosting FC Dallas at Gillette Stadium, let’s take a look at the club’s injury report, released today.

Mauricio Castro and Zak Boggs are both good to go.  Castro has yet to see action this season.  Boggs missed last week’s contest against Colorado.  With Shalrie Joseph (now removed from the list) out indefinitely, both players will provide useful depth in the midfield.

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1. No Shalrie, Get Used to It

The Revolution will face a winless, though dangerous Dallas squad this Saturday, and will have  to contend with an attack lead by Jeff Cunningham and Atiba Harris sans perennial Best XI midfielder and captain, Shalrie Joseph. While its early to call the situation desperate, the Revs are in strong need of a win following lackluster losses to San Jose and Colorado. Joseph’s absence will not only be felt on defense, but in the attack as well. Joseph tied Kheli Dube for the club’s leading goal scorer in 2009, and his absence last week illustrated that the Revolution are very inept at possessing the ball when he is not in the lineup. Pat Phelen has proven a competent holding midfielder since joining the Revolution two seasons ago, but has not shown the soccer IQ, and proficiency  in passing that Shalrie has. Joseph Niouky has also been a favorite of Nicol this season, and though competent in breaking up opponents attacks, he has yet to show any real skill or threat on the attacking end. I believe that Saturday is a prime situation for Nicol to start Mike Videira. Videira has shown tremendous skill on the ball, and a mind to play attacking soccer. Though he’s not as defense minded as Niouky, with the Revs playing at home  I would hope that Nicol would put an aggressive squad on the pitch and coach to win the game.

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