Revolution

How former Revs midfielder Clyde Simms moved on after kidney disease

How former Revs midfielder Clyde Simms moved on after kidney disease

By the time Clyde Simms was forced to retire from the New England Revolution at age 31, his kidney function was down to about 20 percent.

The reason? Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, also known as FSGS. He was diagnosed with the disease while he was in high school but still managed to have a nine-season career in the MLS — the last two years coming with the Revs.

Simms eventually had to go on dialysis, and after a first kidney transplant failed, he underwent a successful kidney transplant in December 2014. Simms dealt with severe complications along the way, but his lifetime of soccer training paid off in a huge and unexpected way.

"I was in the hospital for an allergic reaction, and unfortunately what I was having a reaction to, they were still pumping into my body so I was getting worse and worse and they just could not figure it out. No one knew," Simms told NBC Sports Boston. "My temperature got up almost to 108 [degrees] and everyone was rushing around the room, throwing ice on me.

"Once it came back down, the doctor came in to talk to me. He said, 'The only reason why you survived — or survived without brain damage — is because you were so fit.' It basically saved my life, and so my passion for fitness grew even more."

What did Simms do with that renewed passion for fitness? He decided to help other people get fit, by co-founding Rev'd Indoor Cycling.

After starting the company in 2004, Rev'd operates in three locations, with three more under construction.

And while Simms says cycling is easier on the body and joints than other exercises like running and cutting, it also provides other benefits, like building a community with other participants.

"There's nothing like going into something with a team, with all like-minded people. You seem them working as hard as you're working, putting in as much effort as you're putting in. I no longer miss that part of it. I obviously miss my old teammates and keep in touch with them, but the fact that I have a good team here helps me to not miss it so much."

For more about on Simms's story, check out the video above or click here. And for more on mental health in sports, check out more Headstrong content on NBCSportsBoston.com or on NBCSports.com.

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The Michael Holley Podcast: Bruce Arena on why he nearly turned down Revolution job

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

The Michael Holley Podcast: Bruce Arena on why he nearly turned down Revolution job

Bruce Arena led the New England Revolution to their first playoff appearance since 2015 after taking over a team that had the worst record in MLS when he was hired in May. 

That turnaround under Arena nearly didn't happen because, as the former US men's national team and veteran MLS coach told Michael Holley on the latest edition of The Michael Holley Podcast, he was initially reluctant to take the job.

"Believe it or not, I wasn't going to take the job here," Arena told Holley. "The Krafts just convinced me. To me, it was an interesting project, it was a unique opportunity. 

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"I said, 'The New England Revolution? What have they done lately? Are they really committed to winning? I said [to team owners Robert and Jonathan Kraft], 'If you're committed to winning, I'm willing to listen. I listened a little bit but didn't listen that well...They kept coming back and over a couple of days I was persuaded to come here."

Click here to listen and subscribe to The Michael Holley Podcast: 

Arena said the Krafts' commitment to the Revs that convinced him to come to New England has him hopeful for sustained success here. 

"I've had a lot of situations where I had teams near the top and they're demanding to win championships right away. I thought this would be a great challenge to build a team toward a championship," Arena said. "The Krafts have been great for me. They're building a great training facility. We're eventually going to have a [soccer-only] stadium in the city [of Boston]. They convinced me that they were going to support this team and we were going to make it happen in Boston."

Arena said the key to the turnaround last season was building confidence in his players and the playoff appearance has raised the stakes for this season. 

"Certainly, we had to get confidence back in the players. I felt in a short period of time, I thought the talent level was better than most people thought...I think we're putting together a good team, both on and off the field. We're going to turn up the expectations this year and try and be a better team than what we were last year."

And bout that stadium, Arena said, "I think it's going to happen during my tenure. I'm that confident about it. My wife and I are going to be moving to a condominium in the seaport. So, I'm hopeful that one day, I'm going to say, maybe I'll kiss my wife goodbye and I'm going to travel real quickly to the stadium for our match...I know it's a personal goal for Robert and Jonathan Kraft and they're working real hard to get that done." 

"I think in the near future we can get some news about the potential for a stadium here."

Arena also touches on his friendship with Patriots receiver Julian Edelman and ex-Pats receiver Danny Amendola, his New York roots and fandom of a certain baseball team to the south being put the test, the changing impact of MLS and soccer in the US, his passion for coaching and more in this edition of the podcast, presented by Night Shift Brewing.

 

2020 MLS Draft results: Revolution take Henry Kessler with No. 6 pick

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AP Images

2020 MLS Draft results: Revolution take Henry Kessler with No. 6 pick

The New England Revolution found their man near the top of the 2020 MLS SuperDraft.

The Revs selected Virginia defender Henry Kessler with the No. 6 overall pick in Thursday's draft.

And according to head coach Bruce Arena, the team is quite pleased with its choice.

"He was absolutely our first choice of player to have. If [we] picked number one, we would've picked him," Arena said. "We were excited. We were a little concerned after the first two picks. He could've gone at three, four, or five. We were trying to move up in the draft as well, but that didn't happen. We were very fortunate he was available at number six and we jumped on it immediately.

"He's a player that we think has great potential. He has good size for a defender, is smart, good communicator on the field, good passer of the ball, knows how to step into the midfield and win tackles. We think he's a player with a lot of potential.” 

Kessler, 21, was a semifinalist in 2019 for the MAC Hermann Trophy, given to the top college player in the country.

The New York native started in 24 games for the Cavaliers and led a defense that finished tied for first in the nation in fewest goals allowed per game (0.53).

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He was named to the All-ACC first team and helped Virginia reach the NCAA title game, where it lost to Georgetown in penalty kicks.

The Revs then shook things up a bit by trading their No. 13 overall pick to Nashville FC for up to $100,000 in general allocation money.

New England had two picks in the second round and selected Cal defender Simon Lekressner at No. 30 overall and High Point goalkeeper Keegan Meyer at No. 43 overall.

Rounds three and four of the MLS SuperDraft will be held on Monday.

Here's a recap of the Revs' activity Thursday:

FIRST ROUND
No. 6 overall: Henry Kessler, D, Virginia

SECOND ROUND
No. 30 overall: Simon Lekressner, D, Cal
No. 46 overall: Keegan Meyer, GK, High Point