And now for a bit more on Joe Greenspan.
Greenspan started and played just his second match as a Loon on Tuesday. The center-back came back from a concussion endured in his first match, the June 14 U.S. Open Cup contest, to be the lone available center-back for United.
Francisco Calvo and Jermaine Taylor are on national team duty – as is midfielder Johan Venegas – while Brent Kallman and Vadim Demidov are injured, along with four other Loons.
This was actually Greenspan’s second concussion this year, as he had one at the start of the season that kept him out for several weeks until he went on loan to the United Soccer League’s Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
“It’s been frustrating because with a lot of injuries, you have a bit of a lay-off, but you can start rehabbing and doing things to rehab the muscles or the ligaments, get them stronger so that when you come back ,you’re in good shape, and you’re ready to go,” Greenspan said, adding he hadn’t really had any concussions before this stint. “Whereas for a concussion, you kind of can’t really do anything. You’re just sitting around, and you can’t do much until the doctors clear you to start physical activity again.”
But Greenspan said he used that extra downtime to reflect, learn and figure out what he can improve to better protect himself from head injuries in the future.
“When you go out with a little bit of hesitation or a little bit of fear, that’s when you’re not quite at your best and things might happen,” Greenspan said. “You might slip up or maybe you don’t go into a challenge as hard as you could, and then you end up getting on the worst end of it.”
As far as his performance on Tuesday, his makeshift center-back partner Jerome Thiesson said he never felt insecure alongside Greenspan. And Thiesson added Greenspan, at 6-6, would always go to the side of the pitch where long goal kicks were aiming so he could use his height and heading prowess to help the team.
"People don’t realize Joe has hardly trained, because of the concussion, for maybe three-and-a-half weeks," coach Adrian Heath said. "So I thought he put a really good shift in. He's exhausted in [the locker room] and well he might be because it was a really hot night."