By Alex Eckhardt chats with Shalrie Joseph and Khano Smith

New England Revolution midfielder Shalrie Joseph takes control of the field from his central position, looking to pass the ball off to teammate Khano Smith, who strides up the left flank.

In part, that describes the on-the-field interaction between Revs teammates Joseph and Smith.

Off the field, however, they share a friendship beyond the locker room riddled with similarities and laughter.

Describe your friendship off the field.

Khano Smith: “We have a lot in common. We like a lot of the same things … like music, reggae music. We are both from the Caribbean …and he does alright.”

Shalrie Joseph: “We just hang together. He’s good people. On road trips we are roommates and we have a bond. We’re good friends.”

How would your teammates describe you?

SJ: “As an individual, they would say I’m fun in the locker room and just fun to be around. We like to get after people in practice and create a good environment.”
KS: “They would say we always know what’s going on in the city, like where to go to.”

Shalrie – you’ve been on the team since 2002, Khano – since 2005. Did friendship develop immediately between the two of you?

KS: “No, not right away. He was pretty mean at first.”

SJ: “I have a tough personality and I don’t open up to people right away. I’m hard on the new guys, so he had to earn it.”

What do you do when you’re not at training or games?

KS: “We just hang out, play ‘Winning XI” a lot on PlayStation2 … Shalrie hasn’t upgraded yet. And we like to go out and get food – Caribbean food, roti.”

Playing in the midfield together, does being close off the field help your play on the field?

KS: “No, not really. He needs to look for me more and pass the ball.”
SJ: “I pass enough! I have to get everyone involved. Everyone wants the ball and wants to make a difference. There are 11 guys out there so I try to share the wealth. He doesn’t have to worry, he’ll get the ball plenty. I’ll get it to him.”

It is essential for players to know each other’s style and habits on the field, but it is this pair’s friendship off the field that adds to the unified attitude of this year’s Revs’ squad.

Teammates first and friends second, these two Revs never lose sight of what initially brought them together: soccer.

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