PHOTOS: #5 Revs Moment of 2013

MOMENT 5: Kevin Alston returns to the pitch following leukemia diagnosis.

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

Back in March, veteran Revolution defender Kevin Alston was just as focused as his fellow teammates were on getting the club to the postseason for the first time since 2009.

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

A consistent contributor, Alston started the club’s first four games at left back. But after he was forced to leave in the 88th minute of a Mar. 30 contest vs. FC Dallas, his career – not to mention his life – would take an unexpected turn.

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

On Apr. 8, the club announced that the dependable defender was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia, a rare but treatable form of leukemia. He took a leave of absence to undergo treatment.

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

But Alston was never far from Foxboro. He was regularly spotted at Gillette Stadium on gameday, and often watched training from the sidelines.

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

He returned to training in late-June, and stepped back onto the pitch on Jul. 27 at D.C. United in front of family and friends. He went on to a play total of nine games in 2013, and started in the postseason-clinching 1-0 win at Columbus on Oct. 27.

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

In November, he was named MLS Comeback Player of the Year.

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About Brian O'Connell

Brian O'Connell serves as editor and staff writer at New England Soccer Today. He's also the Revolution beat writer for ESPNBoston.com, and is Officer at Large for the North American Soccer Reporters. He regularly contributes to The Associated Press, and has been featured on MLSSoccer.com & RevsNet.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BrianOConnell21 or contact him via e-mail at BOConnell21@aol.com