PHOTOS: #2 Revs Moment of 2013

MOMENT # 2: Matt Reis fills the role of hero on and off the pitch.

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Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

Matt Reis entered his 16th season as pro ready to expect the unexpected. After all, no two seasons are ever the same, and after winning back the starting keeper’s job, Reis knew 2013 would be different.

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

But no one – not even Reis – could predict the sudden turn of events that the veteran keeper faced on the afternoon of Apr. 15.

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Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

With the day off from training, Reis, along with his family, headed up to Boston to support his wife, Nicole, who was running in the 117th Boston Marathon. With Nicole expected to finish sometime after 3pm, Reis and his family stationed themselves near the finish line to cheer her on.

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Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

At 3:07pm, the first of two bombs exploded yards away from Reis. His father-in-law, John Odom, was critically injured during the initial blast. Reis only had one recourse – help save Odom’s life. And that’s precisely what Reis did when he removed his jacket and used it as a tourniquet to stem the bleeding from Odom’s leg.

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Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

Odom survived, but needed months of rehabilitation before he was ready to return home to California. Meanwhile, Reis who was not only recovering from a knee injury suffered in March, but psychological toll taken in the wake of the bombings as well, was anxious to return to the pitch.

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Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

Nearly four months to day of the attacks, Reis resumed his starting duties, and led the Revolution to a 2-0 win over the Chicago Fire on Aug. 17. Healthy again, the shot-stopper paved the way for the club’s first postseason run in four years.

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Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

Reis’ prowess between the pipes brought the Revolution within minutes of taking eventual champion Sporting K.C. to penalties in the second leg of the conference semifinals. However, that dream faded in the 113th minute when Claudio Bieler scored the game-winner. Moments later, Reis suffered a quadriceps injury that forced him off the pitch prematurely.

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Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

A month walking off the pitch with the assistance of team staff, Reis retired holding nearly every club goalkeeping record in the book.

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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