OBETZ, Ohio — Eddie Gaven's first thought of after watching the replay of his violent collision with the knee of Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy on July 31 was:
How did I miss that header?
He was trying to get on the end of cross from Guillermo Barros Schelotto when he got tangled with Chivas defender Michael Umana and went headlong into Kennedy. Gaven suffered a concussion and has no memory of the play. It took watching video two days later for him to understand how lucky he was.
“I’m glad it wasn’t worse,” Gaven said this week. “When I saw my neck [whiplashed] like that, it could have easily been something with my spinal cord. I’m very thankful everything turned out right and I’m back on the field playing.”
He’s not all the way back yet. After missing two matches, he has been cleared to play Wednesday in the CONCACAF Champions League match against Guatemalan side Municipal. The match is the first of six midweek group-stage matches over the next two months, part of a very busy stretch for the Crew.
“It will be good because we have so many games coming up,” he said. “I don’t know if I’m going to play or for how long, but if I do, it would be nice to get back into the feel of the game again because it’s been two-and-a-half weeks since I’ve been in that situation.”
Head coach Robert Warzycha hasn’t committed to playing Gaven on Wednesday, but getting him back into the mix ahead of Saturday’s MLS game against Colorado would be beneficial.
“Eddie Gaven is a very big part of this team,” Warzycha said. “I would like to see him play not only this game but be ready for the next one.”