New England Soccer Today

Fitness Issues Kept Caldwell Out of XI in Houston

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

Photo credit: Chris Aduama/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – By its very nature, the MLS preseason is an unreliable indicator of what’s to come at the start of the regular season what with the irregular lineups, unsigned commodities, and at times, unannounced scrimmages.

But even though the six weeks leading up to the start of the Revolution season weren’t the most insightful from an outsider’s perspective, coach Jay Heaps did take stock in at least one takeaway going into Sunday’s First Kick clash at Houston: Scott Caldwell’s health.

Caldwell may have played in six of the club’s seven preseason contests, but according to Heaps, the fourth-year midfielder struggled to get fit this winter, a development that kept him from starting Sunday’s season opener in Houston.

“Scotty missed a little bit of time in the preseason,” Heaps said on Wednesday. “He had an injection before the preseason started, and was building his fitness in the preseason, then got an illness, so in terms of reps, we felt that was a good physical lineup for us.”

Although Caldwell, who started 32 games last year, didn’t see his name on the lineup, he still managed to find a way to make an impact.

After Kelyn Rowe picked up a knock during the first half – an injury Heaps described on Wednesday as “a bruise to the midsection” – Caldwell was summoned from the dugout to get ready for the start of the second half.

In 45 minutes of action, Caldwell connected on 29 of 31 passes, and helped the Revolution begin to win the possession battle after the Dynamo dominated it during the first half.

Even though he wasn’t at 100 percent fitness, the Braintree, Mass. native helped settle the game down for the Revolution, whom Heaps said had become unorganized shortly after Diego Fagundez’s third-minute goal altered the team’s collective approach.

“(He) did exactly what Scotty does, which is play quickly, and find passes,” Heaps said. “He was 96 percent on his passing, and for us, completely took the game from a physical battle to a ‘(game) play’- type scenario.”

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