New England Revolution captain Steve Ralston
is out for the rest of the 2009 season. The midfielder tore his anterior cruciate ligament during Saturday's 2-1 win against the
Seattle Sounders after challenging for a header with Seattle's Osvaldo Alonso
and landing awkwardly on his leg.
For the second consecutive season, Ralston will miss
the playoffs. Last season, Ralston suffered a broken right fibula on Oct. 11, 2008. "For what he does for the team, you just can't replace him at all," New England coach Steve
said. In 2009, Ralston notched seven goals and seven assists despite missing five games with various injuries.
Without its most creative midfielder, the Revolution will
need to alter its lineup ahead of Wednesday night's clash with FC Dallas. "We'll just have to find a different way of doing it," Nicol said. "I wouldn't say going direct is
the way to go, but we're certainly going to have to mix it up." The loss will test the Revolution's depth as it enters the most pressured portion of its season. "We're going to
miss Steve, for sure," midfielder Wells Thompson
said. "He's our leader and our captain, but we definitely have plenty of talent on the team and plenty of guys that have
experience and who are ready to step up and play. We just have to do the best we can with what we have and keep playing well."
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