The Boston Marathon bombing hit the New England Revolution family hard. John Odom, the father-in-law of Revs goalkeeper Matt Reis remained in critical condition heading into the weekend after undergoing three surgeries for severe injuries to his legs and ribs from the blast.
Odom and his wife, Karen, had taken a plane to Boston from Los Angeles, where they live in the suburb of Torrance, to watch daughter Nicole run in the marathon. She was running to support the New England Patriots charitable foundation. Odom was standing about 20 feet from one of the bombs when it went off. Reis had been standing with the Odoms but, minutes before the explosion, he moved closer to the finish line to get a better photo spot.
Seven people were in the family group, but John Odom was the only one injured.
“I tied some running pants around his legs to stop the bleeding,” Karen Odom told TV reporters. “[My son-in-law] took over, he got a belt and used it as a tourniquet. [John] just kept saying, ‘My leg, my leg.’ He was losing so much blood.”
Reis has been at the hospital with his family every day since, but he stopped by Revs training on Wednesday to update club management and his teammates on the situation.
“It’s amazing how things change just in an instant,” Reis told MLSSoccer.com. “It has been chaotic. We’re just trying to get through it the best we can and really trying to support John in everything that’s going through. Of course, I’d like to get back here and play and be with the guys and around the guys. Right now, that’s not necessarily the most important thing. My teammates know that. It’s important for me to support my family now and make sure we get through this.”
Reis described to reporters the horrific scene at the marathon.
“It was like a cannon going off,” he told the Boston Globe. “At first I thought that it was part of the race, but I knew it wasn’t. I wanted to try and get back there and helped as much as I can. My son was on my shoulders, so I handed him over to my brother-in-law. I knew [the explosion] was right back where we were, so I tried to get back in there and help.”
He thanked the team for its support.
“ Jay [ Heaps, Revolution coach], Mike [ Burns, Revolution general manager] and the whole Kraft family have been incredibly supportive of what I’ve been going through and what my family is going through. Everything we’re doing is in steps. It’s small, little steps.
“That’s how we’re approaching everything here, going day-by-day and seeing what we can do and how we can do it.”
• Adu in Brazil: Freddy Adu, the onetime American wunderkind, is now 23 and about to play for his ninth team in a sixth country. Adu signed with Bahia in Brazil, and he expected to make his debut Sunday against Vitoria da Conquista. He met with the Brazilian media last week.
“It’s a lot of pressure, yes,” he said. “They believe in me; that’s why they brought me here. I am going to work hard and I expect to compete for a starting job. Hopefully [playing at Bahia] helps me get back with the national team. That really wasn’t why I came here. I came here because I always had a dream to play in Brazil someday. My style of play is always compared to a Brazilian. I finally have a chance to do that. I am excited.”