Ralston done for year

Revolution leader has torn right ACL

Revolution captain Steve Ralston was injured battling Seattle’s Osvaldo Alonso for this ball. Revolution captain Steve Ralston was injured battling Seattle’s Osvaldo Alonso for this ball. (Michael Dwyer/Associated Press)
By Frank Dell’Apa
Globe Staff / September 29, 2009

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Revolution captain Steve Ralston will miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, the team confirmed yesterday. Ralston was injured in the 19th minute of a 2-1 win over the Seattle Sounders Saturday.

“No. 1, he’s the captain, and he’s the guy in the final third [of the field] that can make things happen,’’ coach Steve Nicol said. “We’re losing that, but at the same time it’s the old story - it gives somebody else the opportunity and us the chance to find out if they can do the job. We’d rather have him but the fact is we don’t, so we move on and figure out what we do have. We don’t have another ‘Rallie’, but the bottom line is we do have players with something to offer.’’

Ralston, who holds the MLS record for games (378) and assists (135), is considered the Revolution’s most technical player. Ralston played most of his career on the right wing but was converted to a central midfield/striker role last season and is tied with Joe-Max Moore with 41 goals, second on the team’s all-time list behind Taylor Twellman (101). Ralston broke his right leg late last season but returned at full strength and has scored seven goals this season.

“If you look at it, as far as offense, we are [missing] Taylor and Ralston and, for any team, that’s huge,’’ Nicol said. “It’s tough to find another one like him - it’s what he’s got between the ears. He has technique and touch. It’s great if you can run and are physical, but somebody with a great brain will always nullify any of that ‘stuff somebody’ part. The young players we have get strength from it, just the fact he’s there, it means they step up. In the final third, you want the ball at his feet.’’

Kheli Dube, who has scored seven goals this season, could take over a starting forward role and Nico Colaluca and Michael Videira could take over as withdrawn strikers or in central midfield as the Revolution (10-8-7, 37 points) visit Dallas tomorrow and Colorado Saturday.

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