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Revolution DP eyeing season opener for debut

Xavier Kouassi was feeling good after the first training session of the year.

Kari Heistad

Xavier Kouassi’s long-awaited debut should be coming soon. In fact, the Designated Player is hoping to be ready for First Kick.

Signed February 1, 2016, Kouassi was expected to see out his contract with Swiss-side FC Sion before joining the New England Revolution in the summer. Unfortunately, the midfielder tore his ACL, which sidelined him for the season.

Kouassi has since recovered and is eager to get back on the field.

“I hurt myself a little while ago, but now, thank God, the club took care of me and I think now I’ve got to get back,” Kouassi said via a French translator. “I’m coming back little by little. Today was my first training. I’m on the right road, even though there’s still some way to go.”

Although he was sporting a knee brace, Kouassi was active throughout the Revolution’s first practice. The 27-year-old stated that he felt good after the session, though he still needs to build up his strength.

Away from the field, everything has gone well for Kouassi, who was born in Pan Pedro, Ivory Coast. He’s grown accustom to the city, has his driver’s license, and is taking English classes.

“I’ve been adapting to American culture. This time has allowed me to get used to what’s going on in the new culture. Now I’m here. Now I’m a citizen,” Kouassi said with a laugh.

Kouassi’s transition to the United States has been smooth due to the support of the Revolution. His new teammates have been welcoming while his coaches have been patient. The front office staff also deserves to be recognized, as that have taken care of any logistical issues.

Grateful for all of this, Kouassi is excited to get back on the field.

“The season’s going to start soon, so I’m preparing with the team,” Kouassi said. “I hope that as of the first match, I will be playing.”