By Jimmy Toscano
When you think of Robert Kraft, you automatically affiliate him with the New England Patriots.
It makes sense, he's the owner of the team -- a team that many consider the Team of the Decade, and one that Kraft bought, saved, and put on the map for good back in 1994.
But Kraft is also the owner of the New England Revolution, a team that is obviously, and will always be, far less popular than the Patriots, but one that he bought just a year after buying the Patriots. He believes in the Revolution much like he believed in the Patriots decades ago.
Kraft has done so much to promote the Revs brand, and soccer as a whole, and the team has been relatively successful in its short existence. They've gone to the MLS Cup three times, including a 2002 match against the L.A. Galaxy at Gillette Stadium in which an MLS record 61,316 people attended.
For those reasons and more, Revs players were hit just as hard by the news that Myra Kraft, Robert Kraft's wife, had passed away Wednesday.
Former Revolution and MLS star Taylor Twellman tweeted this morning, "Today is a very sad day. Myra Kraft in '02 when I came to Boston opened her arms to me and made me feel like her son. And will forever remember what MyraRobert meant to me and my parents when I signed @NERevolution. My 2nd set of parents were n Boston!"
You can bet that Twellman speaks for all Revs players when he sends his heartfelt condolences to the Kraft family, and the team showed it in Wednesday night's 1-0 win over D.C. United, which also happened to be their first win in over two months.
The Revs wore black arm bands during the game in memory of Myra Kraft.
Matt Reis, the backbone and starting goalie on the Revs since he was traded to the team back in 2003, has undoubtedly spent time with the Kraft's over the years. After the game, he went on air to dedicate the game in memory of Myra Kraft.
"I'd like to say -- this is from the Revs players and staff -- this was dedicated to the memory of Myra Kraft," Reis said. "We all had it on the back of our minds. I saw Robert Kraft in the tunnel before we left for this game Tuesday and he said we could really use a win. So Robert that one's for you. Thank you for letting me play the game of soccer, and we're deeply sorry for your loss."
After the win, in which Reis made several impressive saves en route to the shutout, he could be seen giving the arm band a kiss.
The outpouring of support and respect for the Kraft's is a true testament to the type of people that the Krafts are.
She will be missed dearly, but her legacy lives on in each and every New England athlete that steps on that Gillette Stadium field.