After Long Wait, Stephen McCarthy Feels Fit
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - For the first two months of the 2013 season, Stephen McCarthy focused on getting himself healthy, maintaining the required level of fitness and waiting for his opportunity to take the field.
That opportunity arrived last weekend at Red Bull Arena when a hamstring strain forced center back A.J. Soares to limp off early in the first half with the New England Revolution already trailing 2-1. Without hesitation, McCarthy hopped off the bench and onto the field to make his 2013 debut.
He only wishes his first marking assignment hadn't been Thierry Henry.
"It was a tough one," McCarthy joked. "You never think about coming in against Henry your first time back."
McCarthy handled his duties well under the circumstances and earned praise from head coach Jay Heaps for the way his passing ability aided the Revolution's possession game. While the resulting 4-1 loss left a bitter taste in his mouth, McCarthy was nevertheless pleased with how he felt physically during his first game action of 2013.
Maintaining a high level of fitness was one of McCarthy's primary goals during his spell on the sidelines, and he credits off-the-field workouts with preparing him for last weekend's 72-minute stint.
"It's a lot about staying fit without game fitness, which is difficult," said McCarthy. "I've been doing a lot of biking and stuff that's pushing your lungs; stuff to try to pretend like you're playing a game when you're not. Physically, I felt really good. I felt fit."
McCarthy's fitness could be tested once again this weekend when the Revs host the Philadelphia Union. Soares is likely to be sidelined by his hamstring injury, opening up a spot in central defense alongside Jose Goncalves. Candidates to fill the spot include McCarthy, Darrius Barnes and Andrew Farrell.
Whether or not he's called upon to start on Saturday, McCarthy will be ready to go, just as he was last weekend when he was forced into action at a moment's notice.
"I'm not sure if the mindset changes that much (with a spot open)," he said. "Every day I want to try to do well. Really, it's just about us getting wins right now. This is the vital time. We have to get a win and keep getting wins. It's not so much thinking about myself as just trying to get the team to work together to get the win."
• Discuss this story on the Major League Soccer message board...
Major League Soccer Stories from April 23, 2013
- LA Galaxy Players Help Build Reading Garden at Annalee Avenue - Los Angeles Galaxy
- Timbers Development Update - Portland Timbers
- After Long Wait, Stephen McCarthy Feels Fit - New England Revolution
- Maturing Jack McBean Settling into Regular Role with the LA Galaxy - Los Angeles Galaxy
- Sporting KC Season Tickets Sold out for 2013 Season - Sporting Kansas City
- Dynamo, Texas Children's Health Plan to host Fútbol Fiesta - Houston Dynamo
- Viana Returns to Columbus Just in Time for Birth of Daughter - Columbus Crew SC
- Sounders FC News & Notes - Seattle Sounders FC
- Impact Takes on Toronto FC in First Leg of ACC Semi-Final Wednesday - Montreal Impact
- Timbers to Play Host to Monarcas Morelia in Inaugural Copa Verde - Portland Timbers
- San Jose Earthquakes Unveil Saves for SEALs Supporters' Section for June 29 Game at Stanford Stadium - San Jose Earthquakes
- Crew Homegrown Player Wil Trapp Called into United States Under-20 Camp - Columbus Crew SC
- LA Galaxy Weekly Update - Los Angeles Galaxy
- Reserves Recap: RSL 0-0 Phoenix FC - Real Salt Lake
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.
Other Recent New England Revolution Stories
- Preview: Revs Return to Action on Saturday against League-Leading New York City FC
- Game Preview: New England Revolution vs. New York City FC
- Delamea and Dielna Available to Return vs. New York City FC
- New England Revolution Training Report For March 21st
- First-Round SuperDraft Pick Segbers Loaned to USL Side Orange County Soccer Club