File this under the ol’ “Necessity as Mother of Invention” chestnut:
New England’s Stephen McCarthy was forced into a tough assignment last week, given a crash course in MLS center back play due to injuries along the Revolution back line.
It was big ask – but the sophomore MLS man came through, grading out reasonably against San Jose, all things considered. His reading and anticipation weren’t bad, especially for a converted midfielder. And at 6-foot-5 he can gobble up everything aimed his way in the air, a handy tool in the belt for any central defender.
So who knows? Maybe the Revs stumbled onto something. Kyle McCarthy (no relation to Stephen) has the story here at MLSSoccer.com.
Even though New England’s back line is getting healthier in some spots, it looks like McCarthy will be pressed into center back duty once again. A.J. Soares may be back for first-year manager Jay Heaps, but John Lozano has a hip flexor strain that will probably keep the Revs’ new Colombian acquisition from lining up this weekend.
So McCarthy will probably get an even bigger test, squarely on the spot against Eastern Conference favorite Sporting Kansas City (and the club’s wealth of quality strikers). Excitement around Kansas City is at fever pitch with all the careening trophy talk around Livestrong Sporting Park these days.
One more thing about New England, by the way: Jose Moreno, he of the protracted and rather bizarre transfer saga, is scheduled to report Monday. I talked to New England director of communications Lizz Summers earlier today. She said the players and coaches have plenty on their plate already and aren’t a bit worried about Moreno and previous comments about not wanting to show up at Gillette Stadium after all. She said there’s even reason to believe those comments attributed to Moreno didn’t actually came from him.
Either way, it will be interesting to see this one move forward.