Giacomo Vrioni returned from injury on Saturday, but he still has a way to go before he’s at full fitness.
With the New England Revolution losing 2-1 to the New York Red Bulls, head coach Bruce Arena made a double substitution in the 80th minute. Wilfrid Kaptoum replaced Tommy McNamara and Vironi entered for Maciel.
These were the first game minutes for the Designated Player since the 35 he played against Toronto FC on Jul. 30. Arena noted that the striker showed some rust against the Red Bulls.
“Vrioni looked like a player that’s been out for six, seven weeks,” Arena told media after the game. “He doesn’t have any real good fitness or sharpness. It might’ve been a mistake even putting him in the game.”
Vrioni had three touches, drew a foul, and was 1/2 on accurate passes in his ten minutes. He didn’t record a shot but did win his only ground duel.
Arena believes it will take some time for Vrioni to return to full fitness.
“He’s got a way to go before he’s ready to play, close to being on a full-time basis,” Arena remarked.
It’s positive that Vrioni is back on the field after dealing with a leg injury, but the Revs don’t have many games left. They will play four matches (two home, two away) before the season concludes on Oct. 9. Each of these outings is important as the Revs are currently below the playoff line.
The Revolution’s next game is on Tuesday when they travel to face the Houston Dynamo.