Shalrie Joseph scored twice against the New England Revolution, his club for nearly a decade, instigating a three-goal comeback in the 3-3 draw.Chivas USA Shalrie Joesph made some serious noise in his return to Gillette Stadium Wednesday night in a 3-3 tie with the New England Revolution.
The Grenadian midfielder played for the Revs for nearly a decade before the club dished him to the Goats this summer. He made sure New England didn't think lightly of the transfer, scoring twice to bring his new club back from a three-goal deficit in the draw.
“Being 3-0 down and coming back and getting a point shows a lot of character in this team," Joesph said. “We just have to move forward and try and get another one and get some points Saturday in San Jose.”
Currently Chivas sits in seventh place in the Western Conference. The team is nine points back from the fifth and final spot, but has three games in hand over most clubs in the conference.
“It feels good to score two goals; it doesn’t matter what team. It’s bittersweet that it’s against my old team, and it feels good," Joesph said. “But it’s more than about me right now. It’s about a team trying to make a playoff run. That’s what we’ve got to look forward to.”
Playoffs are the goal for a team which restructured its lineup in the middle of the season, adding the veteran presence of Danny Califf and Joseph. Additionally, club owners Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes bought out the 50 percent shares of Antonio and Lorenzo Cue.
Another somewhat new face is that of U.S. international forward Juan Agudelo, who added two assists against the Revs. The 19-year-old looks forward to taking cues from Joseph during the home stretch of the regular season.
"He just brings that presence and experience of so many years in the league. Just talking to young players and that strength," Agudelo told Goal.com. "Just his presence in the defensive mid winning headers and being strong. It kind of shies other attacking midfielders on other teams away."
Agudelo though his team put a little extra focus on the game against New England for Joesph.
"I’d like to say I’m pretty close to him. He knew it was a big game for him to come back here and to prove himself. I’m happy he produced two goals," Agudelo said.
"He's brought a lot of experience. He’s a guy that was telling us we can win this game and pushing us forward when we were down 3-nothing. He just picked up all of us in the first half, scoring the two goals and making us have a chance to come back."
Two minutes after going down by three, Joseph took hold of the game. First, he scored a powerful header from a free kick. Then, in first-half stoppage time, he laced a one-time left-footed shot from outside the box to drag Chivas to within a goal.
Instead of using the double to heap criticism on Jay Heaps, the former teammate who eventually dealt Joseph to Los Angeles as coach, Joseph brushed aside any animosity with platitudes.
"(My relationship with Jay Heaps) was what it was. It was sometimes rocky and sometimes great, but I can’t really dwell on that anymore," Joesph said. "It's in the past, and now I just have to make sure I practice every day and work hard every day, keep pushing this team and get ourselves into the playoffs."
The midfielder barely celebrated his goals, rushing quickly back to the center circle to restart the match each time.
"You can"t celebrate against somebody who gave you such a great opportunity. You represent the organization and as I said, it’s been top-notch and it’s been class when I’ve been here with Steve Nicol or Jay Heaps or whoever. It’s been top-notch and there’s class on both sides," Joesph said. "I didn’t want to celebrate or disrespect anybody, but it’s all about the team, with me not showing disrespect to anything like that."
Heaps also showed respect when asked about his former midfielder, suggesting there could be a future in New England for the 34-year-old.
"Shalrie's a gamer. I bet you he circled this one. Credit to him. He put this team on his back and he did a nice job. He's always going to be a Rev, it’s just a little bit of time when he’s not," Heaps said. "But in terms of what he did tonight, I never questioned that guy."
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