Cleared to play, Boggs attacking
Rob Ukrop was the first player to score two goals in his first game with the Revolution, during the team’s inaugural contest, in 1996 in Tampa. Zak Boggs became the latest to do so, last season in Columbus.
Boggs’s first professional season did not end well, as he sustained a concussion during practice and did not play in a game after June 27.
But Boggs returned at full speed during this year’s preseason training camp in Orlando, Fla. He went the distance at right back during a 1-0 win over FC Dallas Wednesday, his conditioning evident as he bombed down the wing for a cross that Kheli Dube headed wide during added time.
“It was a tough end to the first season,’’ Boggs said. “I was working out, keeping my fitness up, doing whatever I could. I expected to get back, it just didn’t happen. I was at the discretion of the medical staff. I wasn’t worried, just because I knew, for myself, I felt great.’’
Boggs said he had never before had a concussion.
“It’s unbelievable — last year and this year have been like the year of the concussion in all professional sports,’’ Boggs said. “Hopefully, that’s water under the bridge.’’
Boggs was slated to be a reserve behind Kevin Alston, but Alston has apparently not completely recovered from hamstring injuries that limited him to 22 appearances last year.
“Kevin’s an all-star,’’ said Boggs. “I’m behind him, but whatever happens, I’m ready.’’
Revolution coach Steve Nicol has encouraged Boggs to go forward in attack.
“He’s a real strong, athletic guy and he wants to go forward,’’ Nicol said. “Defensively, I think that strength and athleticism will help us. He likes to go forward and he’s decent with the ball at his feet, as well.’’
Said Boggs, “I definitely want to get forward. For sure, that’s what [outside backs] do. Cafu’ is the one that stands out in my mind, I saw Sergio Ramos [Real Madrid] the other day doing it. But, like I’ve been told, defensive priorities first.’’
Help on the way Argentine defender Franco Coria and French midfielder Ousmane Dabo have received P-1 visas and will join the Revolution for Monday’s practice, according to vice president of player personnel Michael Burns.
Coria was scouted by assistant coach Steven Myles while performing for Chacarita Juniors. Nicol viewed Dabo, who played for SS Lazio last season, during practice matches in Paris.
“He’s a football player, he passes and controls the ball,’’ Nicol said. “Football is a simple game. If you pass it well, control it well, the other team can’t get it — end of story.
“He’s been training on his own, but when you’re in an actual game, it’s different, so I’m pretty sure he’ll have a wee bit of making up to do. At the same time, his experience will help him deal with that.’’
Dabo will help with the Revolution’s possession game, according to right back Didier Domi.
“Sometimes we play a lot of speed, speed, speed,’’ Domi said. “He will keep the ball on the ground. When you have the experience, you know when to keep the ball and when to go fast, and maybe he can bring us that, a bit.
“We have to improve in keeping the ball, so we’re not always chasing the ball. We have to keep going on that, because it’s very important. Otherwise, we’re going to lose energy in the game.
“We have good players. We can play. Everybody knows what we have to do. It’s just something you have to do every day.’’
In the right place Ryan Kinne played two seasons for the New York Red Bulls academy team. But he has been a Revolution fan since the team’s first season, a natural affinity as his father grew up in Braintree and played soccer for Bentley.
“I used to go a lot to the old Foxboro Stadium,’’ Kinne recalled. “I actually met Joe-Max Moore at the hotel one time — he was my idol.’’
Kinne was an attacking midfielder at Monmouth College, but he has been converted to right wing with the Revolution and will likely back up Sainey Nyassi this season.
Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at email@example.com.