Joseph to stay with Revs, won't play for Grenada


Joseph to stay with Revs, won't play for Grenada

By DannyPicard

FOXBORO Shalrie Joseph has decided to keep his talents in New England.

Revolution fans may refer to it as The Decision. Or maybe they wont. After all, the Revs captain didnt hold a press conference, and he didnt call upon any reporters to spring the news on them.

Heck, he didnt even tell his team.

So when Joseph walked into Gillette Stadium on Tuesday morning, it was somewhat unexpected.

After previously accepting Grenadas invitation to join his homelands national team for the 2011 Gold Cup, Joseph had informed the Revolution that he would be leaving them for several weeks to play for his country following last Saturday nights match with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Joseph was scheduled to miss at least the next two MLS games, and depending on how far Grenada advanced, he could have missed up to five.

But following Saturday nights 1-0 loss to the Galaxy at Gillette Stadium, Joseph had second thoughts.

He took advice from his mother, his agent, and contemplated text messages from his teammates, begging for their captain to stay.

Everyones happy he did.

After the game against L.A., I was 100 percent sure that I cant leave right now, said Joseph after Thursdays practice. With Benny Feilhaber hurt, and not picking up any points against L.A., that was huge in my decision-making, that I need to stay here.

We need to start figuring out ways to win and need to be better as a team, and its going to have to start in Dallas on Saturday. And me not being there was definitely going to hurt the team.

Saturdays loss was New Englands fifth loss of the season, and its second MLS loss in a row. Now that Feilhaber will miss several weeks because of a sprained right ankle, Josephs presence is even that much more important in New Englands midfield.

Obviously were delighted were going to have him, said Revolution coach Steve Nicol. Im not all that surprised, really.

There wasnt a whole lot of positives for him to go, other than the fact that hes playing for his country. But were delighted that hes staying here with us."

Nicol added: I think any team in the league wants Shalrie stepping on the field for them. Were certainly no different.

The Revolution travel to Texas to take on FC Dallas on Saturday night. It was originally supposed to be a game theyd have to try and win without their captain.

Now, Joseph has had a change in heart, and there isnt one person in New England complaining about it.

I thought I had to do whats right for me, and me being here for the team and my teammates is the most important thing, said Joseph. My decision is that I need to be here and to be a captain, and to be a leader, and to make sure these guys know I have their back no matter what.

This is where my heart is, and this is where I want to be.

Danny Picard is onTwitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.