Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
MLS Preseason: Revs encouraged by Kouassi's brief debut
by Ridge Mahoney, February 16th, 2017 9:41PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

TAGS:  houston dynamo, mls, new england revolution, vancouver whitecaps


A long, long wait for Xavier Kouassi ended Wednesday when he started and played 17 minutes for New England in its Desert Diamond Cup opener against Houston.

Not since suffering a torn ACL in his right knee during his final game for SC Sion more than a year ago had he suited up for the Revs. He returned to training late in the 2016 season and his brief stint topped off a rigorous preseason schedule as he and the squad prepare for the season opener against Colorado March 4.

“He’s still, from a fitness standpoint, a little bit further away,” said head coach Jay Heaps, who last year had to revamp his plans without Kouassi in the defensive midfield slot. “But at the same time, I think it was a good stepping stone to get a game in, live action, prepare for a game and get in there and compete at the highest level.”

Kouassi, 27, and the Revs will play three more preseason games before they take on the Rapids. Kouassi was signed as a Designated Player and Heaps was counting on his presence to compensate somewhat for the loss of Jermaine Jones, who balked at a sharp cut in salary and eventually signed with Colorado.

Last year, the Revs acquired Gerson Koffie from Vancouver a few days after learning Kouassi would most likely miss the entire season. Heaps used Koffie in various central roles -- including as the base of a midfield diamond in a 4-4-2, and paired with Scott Caldwell in a 4-2-3-1 -- as the Revs labored to seventh-place finish. They conceded 54 goals, seven more than they did in 2016 and the biggest figure since they allowed 58 goals while finishing last in 2011. New England gave up 44 goals in 2014 when it last played in the MLS Cup final.

Koffie’s contract expired at the end of the season and he signed with Hammarby in Sweden. It’s clear the Revs are counting on Kouassi to help stabilize the middle and provide enough crisp passing to facilitate possession and set the attack in motion. “I think it was a good first test for him,” Heaps said to “Now hopefully that continues to kind of spark even more minutes coming up.”

New England lost the game to Houston, 2-0. Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres and Alberth Elis scored for the Dynamo. Revs’ midfielder Zach Herivaux left the match in the 60th minute. He hobbled off after being felled by heavy challenge. New England gets a preview of its season opener Saturday when it plays Colorado.

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Bruce Arena    
"He understands where he is in his career. There's going to be games he'll start, games ...
MLS Saturday in brief: NYCFC douses Fire streak    
The Chicago Fire's 11-match unbeaten streak, dating back to April, ended when it fell, 2-1, at ...
Epic: Mike Petke gets something off his chest    
Real Salt Lake's Mike Petke was ejected in the 72nd minute of his team's 1-1 tie ...
USA-Costa Rica: Everything comes together in semis    
The USA entered the Gold Cup with dual goals of getting deep into the tournament to ...
Video Pick: Neymar lights up New Jersey     
While rumors are swirling that Paris Saint-Germain is going to nab Neymar from Barcelona by paying ...
USA-Costa Rica Gold Cup Player Ratings     
The USA played well but not lethally until Clint Dempsey entered the game. The 34-year-old assisted ...
Gold Cup: Concacaf throws book at Salvadorans    
Salvadorans Henry Romero and Darwin Ceren escaped unpunished for their antics in the USA-El Salvador quarterfinal ...
What They're Saying: Jesse Gonzalez    
"The hardest part was how my family was going to react. I think it's something that ...
Liga MX debuts for Americans Gonzalez, 18, and Lopez, 30    
Jonathan Gonzalez, 18, made his Liga MX debut, starting for Monterrey on the opening day of ...
U.S. Abroad: Schoenfeld's Maccabi advances in Europe    
Aaron Schoenfeld was the only American who advanced in UEFA play this week as Israel's Maccabi ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives