Since being traded from the Vancouver Whitecaps on February 11, Gershon Koffie has become a key cog for the New England Revolution. The midfielder is more than numbers on the score sheet—though he has those too with three assists on the year—as he’s constantly breaking up plays and making smart passes. This is why it was so devastating to see him exit early against FC Dallas.
Koffie made his 12th start of the season on Saturday night but only lasted until the 28th minute before making way for Diego Fagundez. Koffie left the field with an undisclosed injury that had an immediate effect on the Revolution.
"That was a tough one," head coach Jay Heaps told media. "That’s a tough blow for us and we’re assessing him now. I think he makes the game for us, just a little bit more physical. His presence was certainly missed."
Koffie, who has logged 926 minutes for the Revs this season, is a hard-nosed midfielder, who easily intimidates opponents. The 24-year-old has an aggressive style of play that's already earned him four yellow cards and one red. That said, he also possesses the technical ability to hold onto the ball and find his teammates.
Koffie is a pit bull for the Revolution and entered week 11 tied for second among MLS players in possession regained in the middle third of the field. His tireless work rate is an asset to Lee Nguyen, Kelyn Rowe, and the rest of the Revolution attackers.
Koffie is also important to the back line since he serves as a protector. With this in mind, it makes sense that the Revs would concede three goals after Koffie’s departure.
"That was a big moment in the game for us," Chris Tierney said. "Koffie does a lot for us defensively, he plugs gaps. We play up the field with our fullbacks high and Koffie puts out a lot of fires for us. That was a really unfortunate play and we hope he is doing all right."
The extent of Koffie’s injury is currently unknown. While his teammates hope that their defensive midfielder will be back as soon as possible, there are other players that can fill in. On Saturday, Kelyn Rowe deputized and could do so again next weekend against the Seattle Sounders. Other possibilities include Daigo Kobayashi and Zachary Herivaux.
With a roster full of hungry and talented players, the Revs aren’t about to make any excuses about Koffie’s injury.
"It's tough when someone goes down on our team," Andrew Farrell said. "[Koffie's] a good player. We got guys that stepped up and can play. Daigo's good. Kelyn can fill in there, Zach, anybody can fill in. He's a good player but we've guys that can fill in for him."