Xavier Kouassi has waited more than a year to make his MLS debut. After signing with the Revolution as a designated player last February, the Ivorian midfielder tore his ACL, an injury that forced him to miss the entire 2016 season. Kouassi returned to play limited minutes during the 2017 preseason.
Yet on Friday, Revolution Writer and Editor Jeff Lemieux reported that Kouassi is “very close”—presumably, to full fitness—ahead of Saturday’s match against FC Dallas.
Lemieux went on to tease a photo of Kouassi planting on his right knee during the Revs’ final training session in Frisco, Texas. Kouassi had surgery to repair that very knee last winter.
Could Kouassi make his MLS debut this weekend? While it seems highly unlikely that he would start, Kouassi could feature for 15-20 minutes, especially if the Revolution have a late lead.
If he does make his inaugural appearance, Koaussi would instantly add bite to the Revolution midfield. Scott Caldwell featured as the lone defensive midfielder during the team’s season opener vs. Colorado, but struggled to provide the physicality needed to patrol the middle of the field. Caldwell ultimately seems best suited to play out wide in the Revolution diamond.
The return of Kouassi would make this move possible. And this move could take place as soon as Saturday evening.
The Revolution and FC Dallas kick off at 8 p.m. ET.