It's the end of an era.
On Thursday, Kevin Alston was selected by Orlando City SC in Stage Two of the Re-Entry Draft, effectively ending the defender's seven-year stint in New England. Though often a target for criticism because of his hamstring struggles, Alston provided plenty of positive moments for Revolution fans. Here are a few of our favorites:
With speed like his, it's hard to believe that Kevin Alston didn't score his first regular-season goal until his sixth season. Serving as a stand-in for the injured Chris Tierney, Alston found himself in an advantageous position in the 68th minute of the Revolution's game against the Houston Dynamo on Apr. 12, 2014. A series of fortunate bounces put the ball on Alston's foot, who made no mistake it putting it past goalkeeper Tally Hall. The goal was nice, but the celebration was better as close friend Darrius Barnes was on the field to give Alston an impassioned hug. It was a cool moment for any long-time Revs fan.
Comrade Seth has obviously taken the best MLS goal that Alston has scored, and it was my vote, but it wasn't his first career goal. There might not be a bigger fan of the North American SuperLiga than I am, and Alston's first professional goal was scored in the 2010 Final vs. Morelia. Obviously, his first career goal and his battle with leukemia should take precedent, but the Revolution's history with the short-lived SuperLiga shouldn't be forgotten either and Alston, who was drafted in 2008 and wasn't on the 2008 title winning side, is still a big part of the Revs' history in regards to that competition.
Athletes are often reserved when talking to reporters, shying away from pathos and deeper insights. However, Kevin Alston was quite the opposite when I interviewed him in April 2015. Two years removed from his battle with leukemia, the outside back shared his hardships, never shying away from the mental and physical obstacles he encountered.
At one point, Alston even said "in the big scheme of things, a hamstring injury is one thing. Cancer is life."
That's just he type of person he is. He's candid, honest, endearing and strong. The 27-year-old undoubtedly experienced ups and downs on the field, but it's his off field presence I'll always remember. Good luck in Orlando, KA. You'll be missed.
In the second leg of the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals, Alston started arguably the most important match of his seven-year MLS career. Head Coach Jay Heaps wanted to push Chris Tierney into a wide midfield role, which opened up the left back spot for Alston. The former Hoosier showed up in a big way, using his speed to stifle Lloyd Sam down the right side of the pitch. Tierney ended up assisting on both Revolution goals (both scored by Charlie Davies) to guide the Revolution to a spot in the 2014 MLS Cup Final. Few likely noticed Alston's performance in the midst of bigger storylines, but it's a game that stands out among his 136 career starts.
Bonus: Christopher Brown (@cbrown4747)
Just realized Alston closed out his #NERevs career by assisting Juan's bike against DC. I'm gonna miss him but that's a great way to go out!— Christopher Brown (@cbrown4747) December 18, 2015
We're not sure if this is Chris' favorite Alston moment, but it absolutely deserves to be mentioned on Kevin's highlight reel.