New England Soccer Today

Kouassi’s Home Debut Put on Hold

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/capturedimages.biz

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Amid the scoring frenzy that unfolded at Gillette Stadium Saturday was the curious absence of designated player Xavier Kouassi from the Revolution lineup.

Kouassi, who made his Revolution debut at Dallas last week, was among the 18 available for selection against Minnesota United, but did not see action.

“He could’ve played minutes tonight,” Revolution coach Jay Heaps said. “He took an injury right before the Dallas game and just kind of got a little bit exasperated in his foot. He should be 100 percent by middle of the week. He was 100 percent.”

Despite the knock, the 26-year-old midfielder went 79 minutes at Dallas, a development that surprised many observers after he was limited to 28 minutes during the preseason.

According to Heaps, Kouassi wasn’t quite ready to go as long on Saturday.

“It’s just a matter of fitness and deciding whether we wanted to put him through that,” Heaps said. “He was ready to play anywhere thirty to sixty minutes tonight. We just didn’t want to put him at risk if we didn’t need to.”

Another development that probably played into the decision to keep Kouassi on the bench was the slick Gillette Stadium pitch. Damp conditions persisted throughout the afternoon, making the surface potentially treacherous for a player coming off ACL surgery.

That said, had Saturday’s match been somewhat closer, Heaps hinted he may have been more tempted to introduce his high-priced defensive midfielder.

“I think once we had thought the game was a little bit more manageable,” Heaps said, “we wanted to make sure that we got him another little bit of rest.”

One Comment

  1. Robert

    March 27, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    It was the right decision. It’s too bad with today’s technology that a grass field could not be installed for the Rev’s season in the same way they do it for international matches.

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