By Danny Picard
FOXBORO -- The last time Steve Ralston was at Gillette Stadium, in a public setting anyways, was July 20. It was a Tuesday night, and the New England Revolution had just defeated Monarcas Morelia in the final group-stage game of SuperLiga 2010.
Ralston didnt play that night. He didnt even dress. And after the Revs win, he officially announced his retirement in what seemed like the most-bizarre setting in which one could announce their retirement; bizarre because Ralston was supposed to play for the Revs on that night, and it was supposed to be his last game. Heck, he didnt even prepare a farewell speech for his press conference, because he said he went through all of his usual pre-game rituals, and preparing a speech was not one of them.
When asked why he didnt play, Ralston responded, Some things came up.
Those things, as we would later find out, were league-related, and in a way, unofficially confirmed the rumors that Ralston would become the next assistant coach of the Houston Dynamo.
And on Saturday, Ralston returns to Gillette Stadium, not as a member of the Revolution, but as Houston Dynamos assistant coach.
The Revs (5-9-3, 18 points) host the Dynamo (5-9-5, 20) on Saturday night, and look to win their second straight game, having defeated D.C. United last weekend, 1-0.
New England hasnt lost a match since July 2, a 5-0 loss at Real Salt Lake, which also extended its losing skid to four games. But since then, the Revolution have gone seven games without a loss, going 2-0-1 in league competition.
The Revolution enter Saturdays match as the sixth-place team (out of eight) in the Eastern Conference. The Dynamo arent much better, as theyre currently in seventh place (out of eight) in the Western Conference.
With Marko Perovic back in the fold after missing last weekends game because of a calf strain, and the debut of Serbian forward Ilija Stolica in the starting lineup, the Revs seem to be in pretty good shape, and should be able to handle Houston, which is missing starting goalkeeper Pat Onstad, defender Adrian Serioux, and midfielder Brad Davis for Saturday nights match.
Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard