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Joseph will meet with MLS to discuss arrest

By Frank Dell’Apa
Globe Staff / March 2, 2011

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FOXBOROUGH — Revolution midfielder Shalrie Joseph hopes to avoid disciplinary action by Major League Soccer following his arrest for trespassing at the team hotel in Florida during training camp.

During a post-practice interview yesterday, Joseph also said he is hoping to be offered a new contract and hopes to finish his career with the Revolution.

Joseph was placed under arrest last week after refusing to leave the hotel following an early-morning gathering involving Revolution players and hotel guests. Joseph and teammate Kevin Alston were sent away from training camp, missing two of the team’s three games. Joseph rejoined the Revolution for workouts this week, while Alston is undergoing treatment for a hamstring injury.

“The league wants to talk to me to know exactly what happened,’’ Joseph said. “Once I tell them, I hope I just get it over with and put it behind me and try and move forward in my life.

“Hopefully, they will talk to me by [today]. Once I explain what happened — I just want to put it behind me and move forward and get ready for the start of the season.’’

According to the arrest report, police responding to a loud party told Joseph and others to return to their rooms. Joseph then was found loitering in the stairwell and was told he was trespassing.

“The whole thing could have been avoided with me just going to my room and just relaxing,’’ Joseph said. “But, at the end of the day, I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. I still don’t think I was doing anything wrong.

“I was in my own hotel, at 3 o’clock in the morning. I didn’t feel like going to my room and talking on the phone. And then the guy came in just very aggressive toward myself and Kevin and I just felt I had to stand up for something I believe in, for myself.

“He talked down to me, like I was a little boy. I should have just turned around and put my pride aside, but I stood up for something I believe in.’’

Joseph said he discussed the matter with coach Steve Nicol Monday.

“We’re just trying to get the whole deal sorted out,’’ Joseph said. “Once the league talks to me, we’ll just try to move forward from here.’’

Nicol said Joseph has been accepted back by the team. Joseph paired with Ousmane Dabo, formerly of Inter and Lazio, in central midfield in a full-field indoor scrimmage yesterday.

“You saw him this morning working his tail off,’’ Nicol said.

Joseph, 32, emerged as one of the most influential players in the league soon after joining the Revolution in 2003. He earned the MLS minimum salary as the Revolution made their second of eight successive playoff appearances that year. Then he signed a four-year contract worth about $60,000 annually.

After twice receiving $1 million-plus transfer offers by Celtic FC in Scotland but failing to gain his release from MLS, Joseph has been earning a $400,000 annual salary on a four-year deal since ’08. The contract concludes after this season and no negotiations have been started to re-sign Joseph, according to a league source.

“It has been a frustrating offseason in terms of getting a long-term deal,’’ Joseph said. “But I’m going to let my agent deal with that and, hopefully, it works out. If not, what the future holds for me, I’ll find out soon.

“I love being here, love playing with this team. I’ve got to start doing what’s best for me. But, eight years being on one team, it’s just unfortunate I have not been able to bring a ring back.’’

Joseph, second on the all-time Revolution list with 211 games played, has been a standout figure as central midfielder on teams that included several players now performing in Europe, plus 2005 MLS most valuable player Taylor Twellman. But the Revolution have struggled in recent seasons, Joseph being thrust into a part-time striker’s role and leading the team in scoring with eight goals in ’09.

Joseph acted as captain for most of last season, but was limited to 22 appearances, missing five games while participating in the MLS substance abuse and behavioral health program, and other games because of injuries.

“I’ve kept myself in good shape this offseason,’’ Joseph said. “My body feels great. It’s all about having a good year.

“It’s frustrating trying to get a contract, but I’m just going to be ready to practice every day, be ready to play, and concentrate on that.’’

Frank Dell’Apa can be reached at f_dellapa@globe.com.

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