New England Soccer Today

Barnes: I’m Ready if Called Upon at NYCFC

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

Photo credit: Kari Heistad/

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Nearly a full year has passed since veteran defender Darrius Barnes last stepped onto an MLS pitch, a lengthy spell that could end on Saturday if he has any say.

With starting right back Je-Vaughn Watson absent due to a recent Jamaican National Team call-up, Barnes, who missed the bulk of last season following knee surgery, appears to be the top candidate to fill the role at New York City FC.

“We’ll see what Jay (Heaps) has in mind,” Barnes told on Wednesday. “He’s got a number of guys on the team who could fill various roles, and we have a deep squad, so we’ll see. But I’m definitely ready and available if I’m called upon.”

Barnes, a versatile back who’s seen action across the backline during his eight-year career, last saw action in an Apr. 11, 2015 contest against Columbus. Following the match, he told the training staff that something was wrong with his left knee.

Days later, Barnes was diagnosed with a torn patellar tendon, requiring season-ending surgery to repair it.

After the club picked up his option for 2016, Barnes returned for the preseason fully recovered, playing a combined 242 minutes over five games.

Incidentally, Barnes saw action in the Revolution’s first trip to Yankee Stadium last year when he came on in the 59th minute for an injured Kevin Alston.

No doubt Barnes is eager to get back on the field, not only for himself, but to help the 0-1-2 Revolution get their first win of the season this weekend.

“We can’t let those results get us down,” Barnes said. “A couple of those results could’ve gone our way, and they didn’t. But we have a good team.

“We know when we go out on the field and play our best, and play like we’re capable of, we’re one of the best teams in the league.”

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