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Revolution Friday Update: 8/13/2010

Posted on 13 August 2010 by sstoehrst

This week’s hot news item is the first visit to Foxboro from Steve Ralston after he took over the assistant coaching job in Houston. An “MLS Original,” Ralston wore the captain’s armband for two years in New England and owns an array of MLS and team records. He will be honored in a pre-kickoff ceremony on Saturday night.

During the Revolution’s historic run of success in the last decade, including eight straight MLS Cup playoff appearances, four MLS Cup Finals, a SuperLiga title and a US Open Cup title, Steve was an essential cog in a talented New England midfield. His almost telepathic understanding with Shalrie Joseph and Taylor Twellman created scores of great memories for the fans in the Fort, and despite the fact that he’s now coaching with the enemy he will always be a loved and respected member of the Revolution family.

New England reached a mutual agreement to terminate the contract of Senegalese midfielder Joseph Niouky on Wednesday. They didn’t cite any specific reasoning behind the deal, but did stress that this move was not made with the intention of opening up a roster spot for player acquisition.

This is a puzzling move at best. It can be lauded in a simple sense, as Niouky was rarely more than a waste of space on the pitch despite starting eleven of the Revs’ first twelve matches this season. His composure was horrible, calling his passes “erratic” could have been complimentary and he accumulated cards and suspensions with reckless abandon. When examined from the pure standpoint of what he brings to the table, cutting Niouky is a move that should have been made months ago.

That said, cutting him after the guaranteed contract deadline and apparently deciding not to utilize the roster spot opened by his departure is baffling. By week three everyone and their mother already knew signing him was a disaster; would it not have been a much better idea to cut him loose before July 1st and avoid having to buy him out? Furthermore, the Revolution have failed to name a full eighteen-man squad for numerous matches this campaign, so removing a body from the roster without some form of replacement seems like an unnecessary gamble.

The injury report released today indicates that Marko Perovic will be fit to start against Houston, which is phenomenal news. Revolution fans should be very interested to see how he interacts with new signing Ilija Stolica in his first MLS start; developing some chemistry between the pair could prove crucial to New England’s hopes of a playoff push.

Kevin Alston may also be available, though he suffered a setback on Thursday that must have Nicol worried. Jason Griffiths should also be available for the first time in a month after suffering a hamstring strain back on July 10th. Despite participating in drills and full-speed training again, Zak Boggs still isn’t allowed to head the ball and won’t be featuring on Saturday as he continues to recover from a concussion.

Kheli Dube, Nico Colaluca, and Edgaras Jankauskas will not be available.

Kick-off for the Revolution versus the Houston Dynamo is scheduled for 8 PM at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

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