Joseph will forgo Gold Cup tourney
FOXBOROUGH — An injury sustained by Revolution midfielder Benny Feilhaber was a factor in captain Shalrie Joseph’s decision to remain with the team instead of playing for Grenada in the Gold Cup.
Joseph was to join the Grenada national team this week but he has informed the Grenada Football Association he will skip the tournament, remaining with the Revolution for their visit to FC Dallas Saturday. Feilhaber, who sustained a severe ankle sprain in the final minutes of a 1-0 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy Saturday, is expected to miss about three weeks, according to coach Steve Nicol.
“It was just little things that helped me make the decision, him being hurt,’’ Joseph said. “I’m almost 100 percent but I got a little banged up against LA, and that helped make up my mind what’s more important to me, what’s my priority.
“And being here for my teammates, being in a Revolution uniform, is the most important thing right now. Being able to play with these guys, being able to go to Dallas. And I know how huge it is that we pick up some points on the road.’’
Joseph, who is on pace to become the Revolution’s all-time appearance leader, is considered one of the most valuable players on both this club and his national team.
“I do feel a huge burden on my shoulders,’’ Joseph said. “But it’s something I look forward to, it’s something you prepare yourself for, something you embrace, something you love to be.
“I’ve been here so long, and being the captain of this team, the guys needed me to be there. A.J. [Soares], Kevin [Alston], all the guys talked to me about leaving and they showed their concern. I didn’t want to leave them, just leave them in the hole and leave a void in midfield.
“I understand I let down some people by not being there on the national team for Grenada. But that’s something I have to live with. Right now the most important thing is to be in a Revolution uniform and be a captain for this team.’’
Grenada opens Gold Cup play against Jamaica Monday in Carson, Calif., and the US meets Canada Tuesday in Detroit. Feilhaber’s place on the US roster has been filled by former Boston College star Alejandro Bedoya (Orebro).
Grenada is an underdog in Group B and the US, which will meet Spain in an exhibition at Gillette Stadium Saturday, is favored to reach the finals.
“They were disappointed,’’ Joseph said of Grenada’s reaction. “Hopefully, they want the best for me. And the best for me is to play and be a leader for this team.’’
Ousmane Dabo (adductor) joined Joseph in the midfield during Revolution training yesterday.
“I have to be careful, but I feel better,’’ Dabo said. “We lack some little things to be a better team, but I think we are going in a good direction. It’s still the beginning of the league and we have a lot of games to play.’’
Dabo, a key to the team’s possession game, has played in one MLS game and a US Open Cup match.
The Revolution (3-5-4, 13 points) have not scored in the run of play since a US Open Cup visit to D.C. United April 26.
Ticket sales were at 57,500 for Saturday’s game. The record crowd for a US game in Foxborough is 57,407 for a 2-2 tie with Mexico in a World Cup qualifier April 20, 1997, at Foxboro Stadium. The record soccer crowd for Gillette Stadium is 67,584 for a Brazil-Mexico exhibition Sept. 12, 2007.
Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at email@example.com.