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Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

Scott Caldwell is less than two full seasons into his pro career, but at 23, he’s already exhibiting the maturity of a grizzled veteran.

After his starting spot was ripped away from him earlier this season, the sophomore midfielder didn’t sulk or complain about the situation. Rather, he made his statement on the practice pitch, waiting for the opportunity to step back into the starting XI.

With Andy Dorman suspended due to yellow card accumulation, Caldwell’s ready to resume the form that saw him collect 23 starts in his rookie season.

“You just always gotta be playing to try to be ready if the time comes,” Caldwell told revolutionsoccer.net earlier this week.”If the option is me, then I’ve got to prove myself again, and just keep going in training and be ready to go.”

One thing that’s undoubtedly aided Caldwell’s cause is U.S. Open Cup play, which started up for the Revolution in mid-June. While a number of regulars – including Dorman – were given the opportunity to rest weary legs, Caldwell stepped into his old role and impressed.

In fact, coach Jay Heaps singled out Caldwell as he praised his team’s performance following a 3-2 win over the Richmond Kickers. While the central midfielder has used training to keep himself on the coaching staff’s radar, he was quick to admit the benefit of playing in U.S. Open Cup action.

“It’s definitely helped a lot,” Caldwell said. “Especially getting results there, too, it helps getting 90 minutes and just kind of being comfortable again, getting in the full game and being ready, if called upon.”

Caldwell’s selection for Friday’s match against Real Salt Lake in Sandy, UT is all but assured given Dorman’s absence. The only other player on the depth chart at holding midfielder is rookie Alec Sundly, who has yet to collect a minute of league action.

While Heaps admitted the challenge that Dorman’s absence presents, he was also quick to point out that the situation will open the door for a player like Caldwell to boost his stock.

“It’s always difficult when you don’t have the full selection,” Heaps told revolutionsoccer.net earlier this week “But at the same time, we feel that we have guys that need to step up, and that’s a good opportunity.”

Despite the limited time he’s spent playing with the regulars this season, Caldwell is confident that, even against an opponent the Revolution haven’t beaten in four years, he can make an impact.

“We train every day of the season,” Caldwell said. “So everyone knows their roles, so it definitely is a lot easier when you stick with a system, and everyone just has their individual roles that fit into it.”

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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's contributed to The Associated Press, The Canadian Press, and has been featured on MLSSoccer.com & RevsNet.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BrianOConnell21 or e-mail him at BOConnell21@aol.com