So, it's difficult to recap a game that very few people watched. We could talk about normal things like how good Brad Knighton was throughout the game and how several younger or new players got a chance to impress against the MLS Cup runners up from last season.
But that's not what dominated the social media last night in Revs land. Because the New England Revolution put out the mysterious "Player X" in the midfield to start the second half and have "Player X" included in the box score of their recap. The player in question was on the roster for the preseason game and announced on the PA at the stadium. The player was later identified as former Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder Daigo Kobayashi from outside sources although the team continues to keep the player's identity secret and will not confirm that it is or is not Kobayashi.
It appears that Real Salt Lake themselves might have let slip the unnamed trialist on Twitter, but it was later removed. Brian O'Connell has Kobayashi mentioned in his recap on Soccerly.com, so one would assume that Kobayashi featured for the Revs yesterday but his role going forward remains a mystery. The Revs had five players unavailable due to injury (Charlie Davies, Kelyn Rowe, Andrew Farrell, Chris Tierney, Saer Sene) and Diego Fagundez was rested after filling media duties with MLS in New York. Only Paolo DelPiccolo and keeper Bobby Shuttleworth didn't feature off the bench for the Rev in the game so it's possible the Revs brought in Kobayashi to help provide cover on the roster due to their long injury list.
Kobayashi was trialing with the Whitecaps in Arizona earlier this month according to this post from Vancouver daily news paper The Province.
But the rampant speculation about "Player X" led to a lot of great responses from the Revs faithful on Twitter. Here are the highlights:
Second-half lineup: Knighton; Smith, Goncalves, Barnes, Sanchez; Caldwell; Imbongo, Player X, Sundly, Mullins; Ogunjimi #NERevs— NE Revolution (@NERevolution) February 20, 2014
Yes, that is a Player X (as in, an unnamed trialist) in the #NERevs lineup, so you'll have to REALLY use your imagination there.— NE Revolution (@NERevolution) February 20, 2014
Did anyone Google "Player X" because I'm thinking about it #NERevs— Seth (@SethMan31) February 20, 2014
Player X is clearly the return of "El Lobo Fangoso." #NERevs— Jake Catanese (@JCatanese43) February 20, 2014
Player X sounds like a great secret weapon. "Release...Player X!" #NERevs— Christopher Brown (@cbrown4747) February 20, 2014
If player X is ever signed he will NEVER go by his real name. #NERevs— RevGunner (@RevGunner) February 20, 2014
I hope Kobayashi knows that if we sign him, he will only be referred to as "Player X". #NERevs— Christopher Brown (@cbrown4747) February 20, 2014
@samkillen26 YES! When everyone orders their new jerseys, they should customize "Player X" on the back! That would be hilarious!— Christopher Brown (@cbrown4747) February 20, 2014
And while all the rampant speculation and Player X talk was fun, the twitter winning tweet might have actually come this morning from Real Salt Lake themselves. After I tweeted a quip about Baldomero Toledo not issuing any cards in the Revs-RSL preseason game, RSL responded directly to my tweet.
@JCatanese43 still preseason for everyone— Real Salt Lake (@RealSaltLake) February 20, 2014
I make no implications of what RSL is actually saying, I'm just putting it out there.
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