April 24, 2014
By Brian Trusdell
Joseph will finish career with New England Revolution
New England Soccer News Contributor
A year and a half after being shipped out of New England, Shalrie Joseph believes he is wiser. He knows he’s older.
|Shalrie Joseph’s best days in MLS were spent with the New England Revolution, and now that he’s back he says it will be the last uniform he wears.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
At 35, the former Grenada international midfielder has returned to Foxboro, scene of his greatest career triumphs, and he hopes at least one more.
“This would be my last stop, not a doubt about that,” said Joseph, who played with New England between 2003 and 2012. “How many years, I don’t know. I don’t want to overstay my welcome.
“I want to finish my career here. Whether it’s six months or next year, I don’t know yet. This definitely will be my last stop.”
Claimed earlier this week by New England in the waiver draft after being let go by Seattle Sounders FC, the eight-time Major League Soccer All-Star, four-time MLS Best XI selection and 2009 MLS MVP finalist has no illusions about his role with the Revolution.
After an injury-riddled season with the Sounders in which he played in only 10 games, had six starts and accumulated 592 minutes, Joseph isn’t expecting to have the same impact he had leading the Revs to three MLS Cup finals.
“I may not play every week. I may not dress every week,” said Joseph, whose conversations with coach Jay Heaps has laid out his new role in New England. “He was making sure that he knows he wants me to be a role model, be professional.
“He knows how old I am, what I’m capable of.”
Heaps was coach less than a season when Joseph, who earlier in the year had been signed to a designated player contract, was traded to Chivas USA in August 2012.
“It was adjustment. It was difficult for both parties involved,” Joseph said about Heaps’ installment as manager of New England, two years after he retired as a player, going from playing with many of the players to telling the players how to play.
“When he came in, it was a difficult adjustment. When he came in, he didn’t want to listen to the players. Now he listens to the players’ advice and gives it consideration. With Stevie (Nicol), he was a legend in his own right. He had a successful career (with Liverpool) and then he was an assistant coach. Jay was thrown into the fire. Now and two years ago, it’s night and day. It’s a tribute to him.”
If nothing else, Heaps and the Revs have convinced Joseph that the team is not just going through the motions. By virtue of the Revs qualifying for last year’s MLS Cup playoffs without a high-profile roster, and the attitude displayed during training camp when Joseph essentially went on trial with the team, the man who commanded New England’s midfield for nearly a decade feels a title is possible.
“I feel most days that I left something out there,” he said. “I’ve gotten a lot of individual crazy awards, but at the end of day if you don’t get a championship, it definitely feels that you left something behind. This team, by getting to the playoffs, I feel it’s a step away.”